Gangtok: Prem Gurung, the brother of deceased student leader Padam Gurung, has come forward with serious allegations against the Sikkim Police, accusing them of witness intimidation and attempting to protect the accused individuals involved in his brother’s death.
The controversy surrounding the incident emerged a month after Padam Gurung’s demise. According to a viral video statement from three witnesses, they claimed to have witnessed the alleged murder of Padam Gurung during an altercation involving him, other accused students, and a restaurant owner.
Prem Gurung vehemently denied any involvement in bribing or kidnapping the witnesses and expressed his trust in their accounts. He accused the Sikkim Police personnel from Namchi district of pressuring witnesses’ parents to provide false statements that would frame him for the alleged crime. He further alleged that the police received threats from unknown individuals, some claiming to be police officials, regarding the location of the witnesses.
During a press conference held in Gangtok, Prem Gurung played a phone conversation on speaker mode with one of the witness’s mothers. The mother confirmed the police’s pressure on her husband to provide false statements against their daughter’s account of the crime. She expressed concerns for her daughter’s safety and accused the Sikkim Police of prioritizing the protection of the accused over that of witnesses.
In response to the witnesses’ statements, the five accused students from Namchi Government College defended themselves, denying any involvement in Padam Gurung’s alleged murder. The restaurant owner, Keshav Thatal, also denied the accusations made by Gurung’s family and the witnesses, stating that he was being falsely implicated for causing harm to Padam Gurung using a brass knuckle.
Prem Gurung questioned the credibility of the one-man judicial inquiry committee, led by a retired judge, as it relies on reports submitted by the Sikkim Police and the Special Investigation Team, which allegedly disregarded crucial evidence, including CCTV footage and videos from local residents indicating the altercation involving his brother and others.
In light of the escalating situation, Prem Gurung demanded protection for the witnesses, expressing concerns about their safety and the integrity of the investigation.
The case has garnered significant attention, and the accusations against the Sikkim Police have raised questions about the transparency and fairness of the ongoing investigation. As the matter unfolds, it remains to be seen how the authorities respond to the allegations and ensure a credible and impartial investigation.
Gangtokian Web Team, 02/08/23