Tensions flared on Monday in Namchi town as a rally organized by the All Sikkim Gurung Tamu Buddhist Association and various segments of society escalated into violence, leaving the picturesque town in disarray. The rally, originally intended to demand swift and transparent justice for the enigmatic demise of 21-year-old youth leader, Padam Gurung, took an unforeseen turn as agitated participants hurled stones and bricks, resulting in injuries to law enforcement personnel.
Authorities responded to the turmoil by deploying tear gas shells to restore order, ultimately leading to the arrest of several individuals linked to the upheaval, confirmed the Namchi sub-divisional magistrate. The district promptly witnessed the imposition of Section 144, accompanied by heightened police patrols to quell any further disturbances, bringing the situation back under control, according to PTI.
Padam Gurung, a prominent figure who held the esteemed position of president of the student representative council at Namchi Government College, met a tragic end when his lifeless body was discovered in suspicious circumstances within a drain at Kazitar area on June 28. Outraged cries of 'Justice delayed is justice denied' echoed through the rally, passionately expressed by Prem Gurung, the bereaved brother of the deceased youth leader.
Prem Gurung pointedly questioned the delay in action despite what he claimed was substantial evidence in police possession, urging authorities to treat the case as a homicide and apprehend the culprits. His frustration with the lack of transparency in the investigation led to mounting public scrutiny, prompting the Sikkim government to establish a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to delve into the incident.
Adding to the gravity of the situation, Chief Minister P S Tamang initiated a judicial inquiry under the oversight of a distinguished High Court judge in July, aiming to provide additional layers of scrutiny to the ongoing investigation. The findings of this judicial inquiry, expected to shed light on the contentious circumstances surrounding Padam Gurung's untimely demise, are poised for submission on August 12, promising a critical juncture in the pursuit of justice.