Gangtok: Breaking the silence on the issue of two Jantar Mantar protesters opposing Article 371F in Sikkim, Chief Minister Prem Singh Golay on Friday said the state deployed four police officers to New Delhi on September 15 to arrest the two Bihar residents opposing Sikkim’s special provision under Article 371F.
During his valedictory address at the Sikkim Legislative Assembly session on Friday, the Chief Minister said a four-member police team has left for New Delhi, armed with a non-bailable warrant (NBW) received from the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Gangtok on September 13.
Golay was address the issue of the two Bihar residents as raised by BJP legislators Dilli Ram Thapa from Upper Burtuk constituency and Gangtok MLA Yon Tshering Lepcha during their valedictory address. Thapa had urged the Sikkim government to “identify the kingpin behind the Jantar Mantar protest”.
“The two Bihar residents have defamed Sikkim and created communal disharmony among people in the state,” Thapa alleged.
CM Golay informed, “We received information about the Jantar Mantar protest on August 30 at about 5 pm. The complaint received was against Sumanta Kumar and associates from Gopalganj in Bihar, who were protesting against our special provision Article 371F at Jantar Mantar.”
The Sikkim government took the complaint into account and the Sikkim Police initiated its inquiry. According to the CM, the inquiry was completed on September 9 and a case was registered at the Sadar Police Station in Gangtok under IPC 153 (A), 505 and 34.
The CM then went on to share details of Sumanta Kumar, one of the ‘Jantar Mantar protesters’, on the Assembly floor.
Sumanta Kumar Gupta from Gopalganj had met Geyzing resident Amrita Chettri over Facebook, and they eventually got married on September 24, 2019. Following this, the couple initially stayed in Siliguri for a few months and later shifted to Chandigarh in search of work and stayed there for 3-4 months.
Upon inquiry with the woman’s (Amrita Chettri’s) parents at Geyzing, the CM said, the couple got married as per local customs.
The parents said the couple stayed in Geyzing after being married, where Sumanta worked as a vegetable seller. A year later, he left the vegetable shop to work at a hotel in Pelling, West Sikkim for two months. He briefly worked as a salesman in Geyzing before leaving the state in April 2022.
“Around May 6, 2022, he hacked his wife’s Facebook account and started defaming her on social media. Since then, he resurfaced in the now viral video in August from Jantar Mantar, protesting against Article 371F.”
The Chief Minister assured that those trying to defame Sikkim will be brought to the state for justice. “The government was not making a publicity stunt on the issue, but looking for the protester and filing a case against him. There is a non-bailable warrant against him and his associates now. We are trying to find who is behind Sumanta. The call for unity in Sikkim is justified after this issue, but we do not encourage publicity stunts carried out by individuals in the name of counter protest. There seems to be no need to publicise the issue and the fear of abrogation of Article 371F across national media,” Golay said.
Golay asserted that the issue of Article 371F will not be compromised because of the two Bihar residents, who have no locus standi on matters personal and integral to Sikkim and its residents. He asserted that the state government was devoted the protection of Article 371F and the Sikkimese people.
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