Gangtok: Demanding arrest of rebel party legislator Prem Singh Golay for ‘masterminding’ Namthang violence, the ruling SDF party has admitted intelligence failure of part of the administration which led to attack on its supporters with deadly weapons on October 14 evening.
“There were trained fighters in Golay group armed with sharp weapons and iron rods who attacked our supporters at Namthang. It seems they had come prepared with such weapons. There has been some lapse on the part of administration as they passed through check posts from East district to Namthang. All of us were caught by surprise and even the Namthang police was helpless against the violent mob”, said SDF South district in-charge GM Gurung to reporters here on October 16.
Golay and his supporters had proceeded towards Namthang to attend a funeral immediately after concluding a meeting at Assam Lingzey. The violence broke out soon afterwards where eleven people were injured and 29 Golay supporters arrested by police for rioting with deadly weapons.
Gurung, who was kicked and punched several times during the incident, recalls seeing a vehicle carrying khukuris and sharp weapons.
Asked about failure of administration in preventing the incident in an election period, SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal said: “Golay had been given permission to hold a meeting at Assam Lingzey by the adminstration. Nobody thought that he and his group will straightaway proceed to a funeral house carrying weapons. The administration has been misled on this”.
SDF spokesperson PD Rai sought State Election Commission to strongly intervene so that such incidents do not recur as the entire administration has been put at the Commission’s disposal during this election period. “The election code of conduct is in place and we (SDF government) cannot directly intervene. We agree there has been a lapse but they have taken advantage of the peacefulness of Sikkim”, he said.
Commenting on the Namthang incident, Gurung squarely blamed Golay of ‘masterminding’ the attack on SDF supporters and claimed ‘hired trained fighters’ were used. “Golay led the group. The attacking group consisted of trained fighters hired from outside. The hired goons then fled in vehicles through Melli. Police must arrest Golay also. He is disrupting peace in Sikkim with his violent brand of politics. He does not believe in doing clean politics”, he said.
Gurung also refuted allegations made by Golay camp that SDF had first attacked Golay and his supporters at Namthang. “It is a conspiracy to file an FIR against us. Namthang is our stronghold and if we had really planned to attack them then there would be bloodshed. But we don’t believe in such kind of politics”, he said.
On allegations made against area MLA Tilu Gurung, the SDF said that she had been whisked away from the venue as a precautionary measure before the incident happened.
SDF South district general secretary Pralhad Gurung suffered serious injuries in the attack. He was requesting the Golay group not to make objectionable slogans against our party leader when he was attacked with sharp weapons, said the SDF functionaries.
Pralhad is presently under treatment in Central Referral Hospital and the ruling front is considering sending him to a super-specialty hospital outside the State for further trenatment on his internal injuries.
Regarding SDF’s strategy after the Namthang violence, the two SDF spokespersons said that all party youths have been told to be completely restrained. We have to differentiate between them and us before the people. We are asking our party youths not to react. We believe in clean politics and we are going to win the elections. Namthang voilence is a style of Golay which has been seen by the people and people will be giving an answer”, they said.
Former MLA Aita Singh Baraily said that people must think carefully before supporting Golay who does ‘destructive politics’. Sikkim will fall back if such leader comes to power, he said.
Courtesy: Sikkim Reporter