Gangtok, 15 Oct:

Sikkim Democratic Front today demanded that the concerned authorities explain why they carried out a surprise raid at Seven Hills Resort in Namchi late last night. The resort, owned by members of SDF president, former Chief Minister Pawan Chamling’s extended family, was raided by Sikkim Police accompanied by some officers of the Election Commission at around 11 AM on the night of 14 Oct.

While no official statement has arrived on what the raid uncovered or why it was carried out, drama did not end with the raid last night and SDF party-workers from the party’s legal and social media team were attacked while returning from the resort.

Police personnel were also part of the returning entourage, and some of them were also injured in the attack, SDF claims.

Three people were reportedly arrested in connection with the attack.

The party insists that the raid reflects the political vindictiveness with which the SKM Government was trying to intimidate the Opposition and of how the administration has been co-opted.

“We have been delivering on our duty as the opposition but there is need for a democratic environment in the State. The ruling party has been misusing the administration to obstruct the election campaign of SDF party through undemocratic, illegal and unethical attacks,” said SDF spokesperson, Krishna Kharel.

Mr Kharel further alleged that the CM has been instigating the people towards violence in his campaign speeches.

An SDF press release alleges that the attack on the returning party was mounted by “persons affiliated to the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha.”

“SDF Party demands that these culprits/individuals must be thoroughly interrogated as there is every possibility that they along with others are also involved in similar incidents of stone pelting and violence in South District which have been continuously occurring over the last few days,” the party demands.

“Any act or acts which obstruct the excise of these rights violates the basic principles of democracy. It is the Constitutional obligation and duty of the elected government and especially the Election Commission to ensure that these rights are fully protected and safeguarded in favour of any voter, individual or political party/parties to partake in the election process,” the release adds.

SDF party asserted that despite repeated reminders made to the Election Commission and other concerned authorities, EC has failed to take necessary action as per the provisions of law and then the people of Sikkim will soon lose faith in the process of democracy.

Another SDF spokesperson, Amber Rai, urged the people to support SDF in the by-election to reestablish peace and security in the State.