Gangtok: Nine people were arrested on Sunday, 13th June for burning an effigy of former Indian football team captain Baichung Bhutia. The act was done at Namchi in South Sikkim district, defying the rules of the lockdown implemented in the state. The information regarding it was given by the senior official on Monday.
Accused released on bail
In conversation with the media, South Sikkim Senior Superintendent of Police Thakur Thapa said ‘Last evening we arrested nine people from Namchi and released them on bail as the case was registered under bailable sections,’ ‘We are looking for some more people involved in the incident and they will be arrested soon.’ he further added
As per the information provided by Thakur, the accused are members of South Sikkim Nari Sangh. The accused protested last week in violation of the COVID-19 lockdown. They were protesting Bhutia’s stand on the construction of a 300-bed hospital to be built in Namchi.
Foundation of the hospital
Last month, Sikkim’s Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang had laid the foundation stone of the hospital to be built at a cost of Rs 500 crore. The protesting women raised slogans of ‘Bhaichung Bhutia Murdabad’ and burnt his effigy when Bhutia opposed the construction of the hospital. Bhutia hails from South Sikkim and is currently in the Euro Football Championship for commentary.
Condemning the burning of his effigy, Bhutia released a video message. In this he said, ‘Protesting against me and burning the effigy is a violation of the Disaster Management Act 2005, which prohibits the gathering of people.’ Bhutia clarified that he never opposed the construction of the hospital and said that the state government should focus on the pandemic now and build the hospital later.