Gangtok: Former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling has accused Chief Minister PS Golay and his government of making a “series of blunders” in their handling of the mysterious death of student leader Padam Gurung.
Chamling, the president of the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), made these remarks in response to the recent judicial inquiry ordered by the Chief Minister regarding Padam’s death.
According to Chamling’s Sunday press statement, “Golay has lost control when it comes to hiding his administration’s failures. He has been making one blunder after another, desperately attempting to deceive the people and divert their attention from the fact that Sikkim has become unsafe under his party’s rule.”
Chamling argued that there is a “complete contradiction” between what the Chief Minister says and what he does, starting from his statement on July 4th at Temi-Tarku where he dismissed any possibility of foul play.
Padam Gurung, the Namchi Government College SRC president, was found dead in a drain in Namchi town on the morning of June 28. His death was registered as an unnatural death case and is currently under investigation by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the police, which Chamling claimed was only initiated after pressure from the deceased’s family and the public for a thorough investigation.
Chamling highlighted the overnight transfer of some key members of the SIT as a shocking and suspicious development.
He posed several crucial questions, stating, “How did he ‘know’ that there was nothing suspicious about the death? If there was no suspicion, why was the SIT formed? Why were two members of the SIT transferred in the middle of the investigation? Where are the findings and report of the SIT? Why was a judicial inquiry ordered without making the SIT findings public? Why did the police not arrest any suspects despite the fact that an audio clearly mentions the name of at least one suspect?”
Furthermore, Chamling questioned why the Chief Minister is hesitant to initiate a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry despite demands from the late Padam Gurung’s family, students, and the public.
“He himself had said that if the people wanted a CBI inquiry, he would allow it. Why is he afraid of a CBI investigation now?” Chamling inquired.
The SDF president suggested that these developments indicate a failure on the part of the police, but in reality, they reveal that the Sikkim Police “have not been given a free hand.”
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“As Chief Minister for 25 years, I am aware of the capabilities and efficiency of the Sikkim Police. Sikkim actually has one of the best police forces in the country. However, since 2019, we have witnessed an alarming situation where the police have been unable to perform their duties. Goons are attacking people, vandalizing houses and party offices right in the presence of the police, and the police are unable to take action. Many police stations refuse to register FIRs. This is deeply concerning. But more importantly, it indicates the failure of the Home Minister. If he has any shred of morality left, he should resign immediately. He must step down now and allow for a CBI investigation,” Chamling asserted.
He concluded by stating, “The battered and wounded Sikkim that we have witnessed since 2019 is the Sikkim of PS Golay’s dreams. What kind of Sikkim can we expect when the Chief Minister declares that no one should underestimate him, that his team is ready to enter people’s homes and beat them, that his team has already crushed the heads of their opponents, and in six months, they will finish them off by crushing their tails? This is the Assangthang declaration made by the Chief Minister himself. This is exactly the Sikkim we get when a government is formed by any means necessary.”
Gangtokian Web Team, 17/07/23