Sikkim CM Prem Singh Golay addressing the media on Wednesday Credit: Pema Wang Chen Lama

Gangtok: An attempt to murder case under Section 307 of the IPC will be registered against those who enter Sikkim illegally during the lockdown period, said chief minister PS Golay on Wednesday.

“If anyone, out of fear of having to spend 14 days in quarantine, crosses the border illegally, we will take action and book that person under Section 307 of IPC (attempt to murder). We are using this strong IPC section because the person who illegally crosses the border may be infected (with coronavirus) and could infect others also. We will view that they entered Sikkim illegally with a purpose to infect others and hence book them in attempt to murder case,” said the chief minister during a press conference.

Sikkim Police is intensively manning the inter-state borders and people should refrain from crossing the border in an illegal manner. Do not enter Sikkim with misleading statements or in a clandestine manner and the government will not be responsible if the police takes a stern action, cautioned the chief minister.

Come through Rangpo and Melli check posts with proper documents and we will take you to the quarantine centre with full protection and arraignments, appealed Golay.

On the continuation of stranded people being brought to the state, the CM said, “We will be bringing back all those stranded Sikkimese in a phased manner. There will be no discrimination. As a precautionary manner, all the returnee are institutional quarantined and not home quarantined. Eased out restrictions shouldn’t be taken for granted, appropriate action shall be taken against any business establishment or individuals found flouting with the rules, and the complete lockdown could be imposed”.

“We are working very hard to ensure Sikkim stays a state with zero COVID-19 cases but in case of unfortunate event, I assure my Sikkimese brethren that the Government is fully prepared. Several floors in New STNM has been dedicated for Covid-19 patients. We have more than 200 beds ready with 40 isolation beds for positive cases, 57 ventilators, 5 TrueNat testing machines with over 400 testing kits”, he stated.

COVID-19 lab at STNM hospital is slated to be fully functional from May 15 with positive confirmatory tests being done in the State itself, thereafter. “I plead with everyone to stay safe at home, go out only for essential work. The battle against the Pandemic is not over. A total of 5715 Sikkimese stranded in other parts of the nation have done registration with the Sikkim government till today morning for coming back to their home state. They include student (1,427), patients (201), medical workers (227) and others (3859),” said Golay claiming phase wise facilitation of those stranded appealing them to have patience.

He informed that a total of 180 people of Sikkim stranded in Siliguri were scheduled to reach Sikkim on Wednesday in SNT buses. “At the final hour, many persons cancelled for reasons not known to us and today more than 80 persons are coming. They will be medically tested and sent to quarantine”, he said.

With controversy engulfing the Sikkimese students studying in Kota, Rajasthan entering the State yesterday, the same day when the first batch of Sikkimese students and others were brought from Siliguri in SNT buses. Golay clarified, “Questions are coming in social media that why the 19 Sikkimese students from Kota were brought to Sikkim and why not other students stranded elsewhere? The initiative to send the Sikkimese students studying at Kota was taken by the institute at Kota and the Rajasthan government and at the expenses of the institute and the Rajasthan government”.

He informed that the students of other States studying in Kota have already been taken back home by their State governments and only the Sikkimese students were remaining stranded there.
“When the institute itself reserve the buses and the Rajasthan government takes the initiative to send our students up to Siliguri, it is our responsibility to receive our students at Siliguri. The Sikkim government did not spend any money on their transportation.”

The chief minister stressed that the State government is not discriminating any Sikkimese stranded in other parts of the country due to the lockdown.

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