WB cops on a ‘shameful’ misadventure in Sikkim

Sikkim Police detains WB cops policing in Sikkim without authorization; files murder charges against Kalimpong SP

Namchi, 01 Sept:

West Bengal police today broke all inter-state protocols and established norms of policing to not only drive into Sikkim in what appear to be three posse to effect arrests of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders, and are also alleged to have shot dead a GJM supporter in an encounter carried out inside Sikkim. This breach of norms is a major violation and Sikkim Police today registered an FIR at Namchi Police Station against the Kalimpong Superintendent of Police on charges of murder. Several WB police personnel have been detained in Namchi even as some of them are believed to have fled the State after abandoning their vehicles near Melli check-post.

It is informed that armed West Bengal police personnel entered Sikkim in around 10 vehicles from Melli checkpost in South Sikkim this morning informing personnel there that they were visiting the Buddha Park in Rabongla.

They were, however, acting in a tip-off that senior GJM leaders were meeting at a resort in Namchi and planned to make arrests there. They had not informed Sikkim Police of their plans and did not come armed with any Court orders or transit permits.

Details of their escapades in Sikkim are unclear, but before they were confronted by Sikkim Police, they appear to have rounded up some people from Sikkim and are alleged to have also been involved in an encounter at Gupti near Sadam above Melli in South Sikkim.

They, as mentioned earlier, were acting on a tip-off that a high-level GJM chaired by the GJM chief Bimal Gurung was being held at a resort in Namchi.

When Sikkim Police stationed at Namchi learned of the presence of West Bengal police in Sikkim and of the arrests and shooting, they rushed to the scene of the “crime”.

Namchi Police Station, South Sikkim

SP (South) Pratap Pradhan, when contacted, confirmed that when they learned that West Bengal Police had made some “arrests” in the Ghurpisey area, they moved to the location and when they asked about the arrest warrants and case files explaining and authorizing their presence in Sikkim, they realized that the West Bengal cops were acting without any authorization.

Accordingly, when the WB police personnel could not present any official documents explaining their presence in Sikkim, they detained by Sikkim Police and are currently in Namchi Police Station.

The Namchi incident happened at around midday, but the madness of WB police’s adventures in Sikkim were far from over for the day.

Shortly after, between 1 to 2 pm. Namchi police received information that one Dawa Tamang of Kalimpong had been shot by another team of WB police personnel near Gupti-Sadam. One Lalit Poudyal of Kalimpong that WB police had shot him.

The SP-South, while reiterating that they had not received any official communication regarding the operation of WB police, condemned it as a “shameful act” of WB police in contravention of all established rules and norms of interstate policing.

Following preliminary investigation, Sikkim Police has registered a case under Section 302/34 of the IPC (murder) against the Kalimpong SP Ajit Singh Yadav and his team. The case is under investigation.

Meanwhile the WB police team involved in the shootout at Gupti is informed to have abandoned their vehicles near Melli check-post and fled from the scene back into West Bengal.

The SP-South also informed today that Namchi police had not received any information regarding a GJM meeting anywhere near Namchi.

And then there was a third incident when a vehicle-full of WB Police personnel arrived at Melli Check-Post from the Sikkim side in the evening. When stopped at the check-post, the Sikkim Police noticed that the vehicle had two civilians “arrested” by WB Police in Sikkim. When no documents could be presented to effect these arrests, the “arrested” persons were “rescued” and the WB cops detained by Melli Police.

The WB misadventure in Sikkim is bound to grow into a major issue since this is a level of bluster that no State or its police will let go of lightly. The coming days will reveal how Sikkim takes this issue forward and how West Bengal tries to wriggle out of this mess.