GANGTOK: Two men were trampled by a luxury SUV taxi inside the no-vehicle zone at Gangtok’s MG Marg in the wee hours on Thursday. The incident is suspected to the result of a drunken brawl between two groups outside a local hotel in the area, wherein one group worked as staff at the hotel.

The hotel staff group was allegedly taking selfies near the Red Panda structure at the far end of MG Marg, when a group of 4 men allegedly came from the Thado Line area near Lal Bazaar. Sikkim Police said the two groups got into a quarrel. The two men from the group of four, reportedly drivers, were quarrelling with the other group. The other two had allegedly left the spot.

Sometime later, police said, once the quarrel was settled, the two men who had fled the scene came back in a luxury taxi SUV from the Tibet Road side, above MG Marg and zoomed towards the group.

The vehicle bearing registration number SK 01Z 1079, entered MG Marg and sped towards the eight people gathered there, including their two friends.

“Looking at the crime scene, it appears others were able to move away from the zooming vehicle. But three of them are injured while two were trampled by the vehicle to their death, including one of his own friend,” Additional SP Sonam Dechu said.

The victims are identified as Dhan Kumar Chettri and Dawa Bhutia, both in their early 30s. Early information said Chettri was from the hotel staff group and belonged to Singtam. Bhutia was a driver, and police said he’s likely from Darjeeling.

The accused driver has been identified as Pawan Subba, in mid 30s, hailing from Darjeeling.

“He was in Gangtok for the past few months working as a driver with the luxury vehicle. He ran from the scene but police were able to nab him and those involved. We are trying to find motive behind the crime, but a murder case has been registered under IPC 302. There was no damage to any structure at MG Marg, we are investigating if there was a motive behind the quarrel,” said the ASP.

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