Former Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling speaks up against political violence and warns against the dangerous consequences of such acts. In a recent interview, Chamling explained why the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party launched a helmet rally, calling it a symbolic march against political violence in the state.
Pawan Chamling defended the rally by stating that it was a response to the open political terrorism and organized crimes committed by the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) party. Chamling accused SKM's Chief Minister, Mr. Goley, of threatening to enter people’s houses to beat them up and finish them off in six months. He also alleged that the SKM president was behind the political persecution and victimization of SDF party workers.
Chamling emphasized that SDF believes in non-violence and will never change their strategy. However, he warned that the time had come for them to protect their people and be on the defensive against the blood-thirsty SKM stone pelters and attackers.
He appealed to the misguided youth to stop violence and adopt a vision of promoting peace, prosperity, and intellectual growth. Chamling pointed out that the short-term benefits achieved through shedding people’s blood would cause long-term harm and history is replete with examples of parents' violent acts visiting upon their descendants for generations.
Chamling's appeal comes after at least 68 SDF party workers were physically attacked in the last four years, and many SDF cadres' vehicles and houses were damaged. SDF party offices in Gangtok, Namchi, and Jorethang were severely attacked, and the police refused to accept their FIR. Chamling alleged that the police stations and administration had been hijacked by the SKM president, and not a single culprit had been arrested so far. In some cases, the victims were arrested simply because they belonged to the SDF party.
The helmet rally started from the SDF party headquarters in Gangtok and ended at the Ridge Park. Party workers wore helmets as a symbolic gesture against the stone pelting and physical attacks they have faced in the past. The SDF party hopes that the helmet rally will bring attention to the political violence in Sikkim and encourage the SKM party to adopt a vision of peace, prosperity, and intellectual growth.
The Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has not yet responded to the SDF party's allegations of political terrorism and organized crimes. However, the party has accused SDF of playing politics and trying to gain sympathy by holding such rallies. SKM spokesperson, Mr. Tshering Wangchuk, stated that their party believes in peaceful politics and condemned any act of violence.
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