GANGTOK: A Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) functionary was arrested while two others were named in an FIR on Monday in connection with the clashes between the members of the opposition party and the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) on Saturday.
On Saturday, Sikkim witnessed a fresh round of political violence between members of the two political parties in Soreng, West Sikkim where SDF was holding a coordination meeting.
A video of senior SDF functionary and vocal critic of the ruling SKM government Avinash Yakha appeared showing him running away from SKM cadres while he shoots three shots in the air and runs away from the scene.
According to the police, an FIR has been filed in the case and SDF’s spokesperson Arun Limboo has been arrested. The FIR was filed by Pramod Tamang where the SKM supporter claimed that Limboo sprayed pepper spray on him when he and his friends reached the spot to check the status of the traffic jam. Incidentally, Limboo was injured after allegedly being pelted with stones by SKM functionaries.
The two other SDF members Avinash Yakha and Rinzing Bhutia who have also been named in the FIR are still missing.
The opposition SDF meanwhile has come to the defence of its members. “When some of the members of the SDF Party were proceeding towards the venue of the party meeting, they were suddenly attacked by a group of people who are the members of the ruling SKM Party,” SDF stated in a press release.
“In this act of violence perpetrated by the said culprits, few of the members of SDF Party were brutally attacked and grievously injured. The vehicles belonging to the members of the SDF Party were also totally damaged.”
“It was under very difficult circumstances and situations that the members of the SDF Party present there in the place of occurrence managed to escape in order to save their lives,” it further added.
SDF also released photos of Yakha’s Arms License issued by the Sikkim Police for self-defence. Sikkim police had earlier confirmed that Yakha has been booked under the Arms Act and several areas in South and West Sikkim have been put on alert.
SKM Spokesman Bikash Basnet has squarely blamed the SDF party for inciting the violence and “using terrorism to come back to power”.
Confirming closely with the FIR registered by SKM supporter Pramod Tamang, the party has alleged that it was SDF supporters Arun Limboo and Avinash Yakha who attacked SKM supporters with pepper spray while the later fired shots in the air.