Sikkim student leader death: Family not happy with judicial committee report

Gangtok: Deceased student leader Padam Gurung’s family expressed disappointment at the judicial committee’s report and demanded the termination of three Sikkim police officials, currently suspended as per the committee’s recommendations. 

Padam Gurung’s brother Prem Gurung admitted to ‘not finding justice for the suspected murder of his brother’, promising to use the Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia declared by NK Jain committee to pursue the case further for proper investigation. 

In a press conference in Gangtok on Sunday, Prem Gurung shared, “We are not satisfied with the judicial inquiry report. We feel the three police officials should be terminated from their services. My brother died due to lapses in duty by Sikkim Police. The one-man judiciary couldn’t catch the culprit and declared it as an accidental death. The culprit is moving about freely and the police are trying to protect the culprit. The drain where his body was found was only 1.5 feet by 14 inches, we still feel the body cannot flow down that drain.”

Prem Gurung and others also declared to carry out a protest across the state until the culprit behind his brother’s death is found. He shared how the family provided many pieces of evidence to the police, proving it was murder. “If the death of my brother is accidental, then prove that with video evidence of him falling in the drain. The area where he died is not a jungle, it’s in the middle of the town with CCTV cameras in place. We had evidence such as bloodied pants, a phone and the vehicle. The phone has been found, but the pants are nowhere to be found in evidence. It appears that Sikkim Police has lost all such evidence, desperately trying to prove that this was an accident. We feel it’s murder and we demand justice,” said Prem Gurung.

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Gurung further questioned the reason for conducting the postmortem in Gangtok instead of Namchi District Hospital, questioning the doctors who carried out the postmortem and if they should be answerable as well. “We feel the doctors of postmortem are also behind the cover-up. There is evidence of head injury but they declared he died of drowning. When people were swept by the flash floods, there was slush on bodies, not blood. But our brother had bloodied injuries on his body despite falling in such a small drain,” said Gurung.  

Prem Gurung also denied allegations that the family had ‘given up on the case after Rs 25 lakh was declared as ex-gratia’. “We are being alleged to have taken money to resolve the case. There are rumours of the family selling the case, we have not asked for money, and we are still fighting this case for my brother’s justice. We were not part of any discussion to declare the discussion nor did we say we needed the money. But now that is being given we will use the same ex gratia to further pursue the case and prove that it was murder and not an accident.”

Also Read | Sikkim: 2 cops suspended, former SP served show-cause notice in student leader’s death

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