Monday, May 20, 2013

Two more arrested in connection with death of student in Gangtok brawl

GANGTOK, 20 May: Two more arrests were made today by the Sikkim Police in connection with the death of a 22-year-old second year SMIT student following a brawl at Café Live & Loud here at Tibet Road on Saturday night. This takes the number of arrests in connection with the case to seven, with five of the accused picked up yesterday itself.
Two bouncers working at the Café Live & Loud were placed under arrest by the Sadar police on 19 May in connection with the murder of Rakshit Meena. The two bouncers are Phurba Tamang [29], a resident of 3rd Mile, JN Road and Karna Hang Subba [25], a resident of Lall Bazaar, Gangtok, and both have been booked under Section 302/ 34 [punishment for murder with common intent] of the Indian Penal Code, informed DIG [Range], Dr. MS Tuli, today.
The arrests were made on the basis of the statements given by the four friends of the deceased who have alleged that after the accused attacked them, and they approached the bouncers to come and intervene and stop the fight, the bouncers did nothing and took no action and instead just stood there and watched, informed the DIG.
The sequence of events of the fateful night are now available in slightly clearer detail. The quarrel is reported to have occurred at around 1:30 a.m. on the intervening night of 18 and 19 May. As per the friends of the deceased, they were attacked as they left the restaurant. It now transpires that they were left to fend for themselves [an allegation which has led to the arrest of the bouncers as well], and somehow managed to flee the spot and reach their hotel.
The victim, Rakshit, appears to have spent a very uncomfortable night and when the complications and his condition became too desperate to ignore, his friends, who had been too scared to venture out till then, decided to rush him to medical attention. They drove to STNM Hospital emergency ward first and proceeded on to Central Referral Hospital. Although officials at STNM Hospital deny this [read rejoinder on pg2], the friends have recorded in their police statement that they were told there were no free beds at STNM Hospital which is why they left for CRH. Rakshit was declared brought dead at CRH.
The five accused arrested by the police yesterday are: Gurmey Wangchuk [the main accused], Loden Sherpa, Vidhant Pradhan, Sonam Namgyal and Ugen Namgyal. They have all been booked under section 302 [punishment for murder] of the Indian Penal Code. The dead of the victim was meanwhile flown out to Rajasthan for a funeral in his ancestral home today. The 22 year old Rakshit Meena was a second year student of civil engineering at SMIT.


The Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, SMIT, Majhitar, East Sikkim expresses its deep sorrow and condolences on the untimely demise of one of its student in an unfortunate incident on 19 May 13.
Five students of Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, SMIT, Majhitar had gone out on nightout pass to Gangtok on 18 May 2013.
On 19 May 2013 morning Rakshit Meena, a third year B.Tech (Civil Engineering) student of SMIT was brought by the students to the Central Referral Hospital (CRH) Tadong, where he was pronounced by the doctor as brought dead. The matter was reported to the police who responded immediately and started investigations.
The parents were informed and they reached Gangtok at around 4 PM on same day from Purnea, Bihar where the father of Rakshit Meena is posted as DIG (Range) Purnea. All necessary support was provided by the university to the family for carrying the body of the deceased to their native town Jaipur for his last rites.
As learnt from the students accompanying Rakshit Meena, the five SMIT students had gone to a local pub on 18 May evening to celebrate the birthday of one of the students. Inside the Café, the  students had exchange of words with another group of men following a dance session. Later, when the students were coming out the café at about 1.30 AM they were assaulted by the same group of men waiting just outside the entry to the Café, in which Rakshit Singh Meena suffered fatal injuries.
As per latest reports five of the six assailants have been arrested by Sikkim Police.
The cause of death as per Hospital authorities was due to internal bleeding probably due to internal injury caused by physical assault.
The management of Sikkim Manipal University and SMIT condole the untimely demise of Rakshit Meena and offers heartfelt condolence to the bereaved family. The University would be fully cooperating with the authorities in its investigations in the case.
Prof (Dr) Vandana Suhag
Registrar, Sikkim Manipal University

STNM Hospital did not turn brawl victim away, Management clarifies

With Reference to Media reports in two newspapers NOW! and Sikkim Express dated 20 May 2013.
The Sikkim Express report mentions that the victim Rakshit Meena was taken to STNM hospital from his previously booked hotel room. The hospital authorities apparently told the patient party to take the patient to CRH due to lack of beds in the S.T.N.M. This statement has been made by a police officer.
The other newspaper [NOW!] however mentions that the victim was taken to the S.T.N.M. hospital at around 1.30 a.m. on the intervening night of 18thand 19th of May, 2013 and was turned away on the grounds that there were no free beds.
There are no records in the hospital emergency regarding the admission and referral of this patient to CRH.
However, it is presumed that the incident in question had taken place on the morning of 19th of May 2013 when three young boys entered the emergency of STNM hospital at around 7.30 a.m. requesting for a stretcher to get a patient into the emergency from a vehicle standing outside (Maruti Van).
The Doctor on duty Dr. Maya Shilal, and two nurses and ward boy on duty Rakesh Koirala were present in the emergency. The ward boy went to collect the flexible stretcher to get the patient into the emergency as the trolley stretchers were already occupied by the patients.
On going out the ward boy found that the vehicle had already left the premises as saw the vehicle turning towards the National Highway.
Principal Chief Consultant-cum-Medical Superintendent, STNM Hospital, Gangtok

2nd year student beaten to death, five taken into custody

GANGTOK, 19 May: A brawl at a restaurant here ended in the death of a 22 year old student last night and the arrest of five persons, led by one Gyurmey Wangchuk, 34, on charges of murder even as the police are on the lookout for a sixth, as yet unidentified, accused.
The victim, Rakshit Meena, was a second year student at SMIT, Majhitar, and was in Gangtok to celebrate the birthday of a friend when a vicious attack, allegedly led by Gyurmey Wangchuk and involving five others outside Café Live & Loud here on Tibet Road at around 1:30 a.m. on the intervening night of 18 and 19 May, left him dead.
The deceased was at the restaurant to celebrate the birthday of Arindam Parmar, also the main eye witness in the case, along with four friends. Although details of the incident are still rather sketchy, statements made by eyewitnesses suggest that the two groups exchanged some words inside the restaurant following which Gyurmey Wangchuk and his friends left the restaurant.
Arindam Parmar, while speaking to media persons today, stated that when he and Rakshit left the restaurant, they were set upon by Gyurmey Wangchuk and his friends who had been waiting outside for them. A vicious attack followed with Rakshit as the main target, and it was only when bouncers from Café Live & Loud rushed out that the attack stopped. Rakshit was unconscious by then.
His friends then rushed their injured and unconscious friend to the hospital. Their first stop at STNM Hospital, much closer to the place of the incident, ended futile because they were turned away, reportedly on the grounds that there were no free beds. When the victim was finally reached to Central Referral Hospital down at Tadong, he was pronounced brought dead.
The incident of a death following an assault was informed to the Sadar police, as required by law, by the MO, CRH.
The sequence of arrests began early this morning and by midday all five were behind bars. SP [East] Manoj Tewari informs that the arrests were made based on eyewitness accounts and footage taken from the mobile phones of the victim’s friends.

Bhandari to lead Sikkim Sangram Parishad again

GANGTOK, 19 May: Removed from the post of Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee president rather unceremoniously recently, former Chief Minister Nar Bahadur Bhandari, today confirmed his return to the party he had led at one time and claimed to have ‘merged’ into the Congress - the Sikkim Sangram Parishad. Addressing a joint press conference with the SSP president, Rajendra Upreti, Mr. Bhandari today confirmed that he will be taking charge as the SSP president on 24 May with Mr. Upreti standing in as working president.
Mr. Bhandari, it may be recalled, had given the Congress high-command time till 24 May to a set of conditions he had imposed on them. The SSP plans should have been obvious in the date itself since 24 May is SSP’s foundation day. Mr. Bhandari informed a press conference today that he will be formally taking charge of the party on 24 May, Thursday.
This will be the second time that Mr. Bhandari turns to SSP after being abandoned by the Congress. He had formed the SSP in 1984 after he was removed from the CM’s post by the Congress high command. Mr. Bhandari was a Congress CM at the time. He had then announced the merger of SSP with the Congress in end-July 2003. This was challenged by former Sangramis led by Mr. Upreti who have kept the party alive since then. And now Mr. Bhandari returns, after having been toppled by the Congress high command again.
“Sikkim Sangram Parishad held an executive meeting after the Mr. Bhandari was removed from the SPCC president’s post and decided to offer him the SSP leadership,” Mr. Upreti informed today.
After several rounds of meetings, Mr. Bhandari was offered the post of SSP president, while the sitting president Mr. Upreti agreed to stay on as working president and Kamal Rai, another Sangrami who had kept the party alive, is to continue as general secretary.
Mr. Bhandari announced today that with the re-launch of SSP, positive politics will return to Sikkim.

Press Club felicitates SE duo on Sikkim Sewa Samman honour

GANGTOK, 19 May: The Press Club of Sikkim today felicitated Editor, Sikkim Express, Amit Patro, and Yishey Doma Bhutia, Copy Editor at Sikkim Express, on being conferred the Sikkim Sewa Samman on State Day. The felicitation ceremony had PCS advisor, CD Rai, as chief guest.
Mr. Rai congratulated the two journalists on their sterling recognition and remarked that journalism has come a long forward in Sikkim and congratulated the gathered journalists on their professionalism.
Speaking about Sikkim Express, two journalists from which were honoured on State Day, he highlighted how Ram Patro had started it and how the initiative was carried forward by his wife Mala Rana Patro and how the legacy is being sustained by their son Amit Patro. He also commended the entire team at SE for the hard work they have invested in the paper and pulled it up to its present level.
The gathering was also addressed by the two persons to be felicitated, Amit Patro and Yishey Doma Bhutia, both of them thanked the PCS for felicitating them and that it was a matter of pride to be honoured for the work by the State.

Loden runs to keep youth away from drugs!

GANGTOK, 19 May: 24 year old Loden Sherap Lepcha from Dzongu, a second year student here at the Government College, was on his feet for 10 straight hours, not loafing or loitering as would not be out of the ordinary for his age, but running! The youth used his weekend to begin a mission to generate wider awareness against substance abuse and today covered a staggering 65 kilometres running with his message pinned to his chest – “Say no to drugs”.
Loden, who hails from Sakyong in Upper Dzongu, hopes that his solo marathon [although at 65 kms, he ran much longer than a marathon] will inspire more people his age to stay away from drugs and live healthy lives. Loden has never run a marathon before and does not even have school-level experience of long-distance running. What he obviously lacks by way of training, he more than makes up with a healthy lifestyle which made it possible to run the distance today when he found the inspiration in a social cause close to his heart.
Loden began his solo marathon from Titanic Park here this morning at 7:30 a.m., jogging up JN Marg through Tibet Road then to Ganesh Tok, Bulbuley, Pangthang on to Samdong, Makha, Sirwani and finally ending his marathon at Singtam Bazaar at around 5:30 PM.
Loden is a second year BA student at Sikkim Government College.
Speaking to NOW! after completing his grueling marathon, Loden mentioned that his aim was to spread an anti-drugs message among the youth, appealing them to stay away from addictions and to lead healthy lifestyles.
He shared that he was inspired by Sikkim’s own marathoner, Amar Subba of West Sikkim and also draws inspiration from Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist, who, in 1980, with one leg having been amputated, embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research.
Loden mentioned that he plans to continue his solo marathon runs to draw wider attention to the problem of substance abuse and to convince more youth to Say No.
He shared that he has been getting consistent support and encouragement from his family and friends. For today’s success, Loden expressed gratitude towards Sherap Lepcha for his encouragement and support and to all his friends who accompanied him during his solo marathon.

Kazi Sherpa summits Everest, again

GANGTOK, 19 May: Kazi Sherpa, OSD (Adventure) at India Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Eco Tourism, Chemchey, summited Everest at 5:15 a.m. [IST] on 18 May as part of the 1st North East India on Top of the World [Mt. Everest] Expedition 2013. He had also summited Everest last year, and is the second from Sikkim in the NE expedition to summit Everest this season. Anand Gurung had completed the climb last Friday.
Mr. Sherpa was one of the six from the expedition who reached the summit on Saturday, informs a press release issued by Santosh Shekar, PRO, 1st North East India top of the World Mt Everest Expedition 2013.
Ms. Anshu Jamshenpa of Arunachal Pradesh, N Chingkheinganba of Manipur, David Zohmangaiha of Mizoram, Tarun Saikia of Assam, Kazi Sherpa of Sikkim made their successful summit at 5.15 a.m. [IST] and Wangsuk Myrthong of Meghalaya summitted at 8.15 a.m. [IST], the release adds.
With the successful summit, David Zohmangaiha, Tarun Saikia and Wangsuk Myrthong are the first Mt Everest summiters from their respective states. Ms. Anshu Jamshenpa of Arunachal Pradesh has again created history by being the only mother of two, who successfully summitted Mt Everest for the third time, while N Chingkheinganba, the 16 year old boy from Manipur is the youngest among the team.
Until now altogether 09 mountaineers of the team have summitted the Everest of which, 02 each are from Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and 01 each are from Meghalaya, Mizoram and Assam.
The expedition team is the first ever comprising exclusively of mountaineers from North East India. It is being executed under the leadership of Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association, funded by North Eastern Council, Shillong and supported by Planning Department, Government of Manipur. The leader of the expedition is Dr L Surjit [President, Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association], the release informs.
Puyamcha Mohon from Manipur is expected to summit the Everest by the morning of 19 May. 

SICB begins two more demand-driven capacity building courses

GANGTOK, 19 May: The State Institute of Capacity Building has started two more Livelihood Schools, these offering courses for Caregivers and Housekeeping at Karfectar in South Sikkim and Pelling in West Sikkim respectively.
The 3-month long course for Caregivers is being conducted at the SICB campus at Karfectar and trainees will be placed in Singapore upon successful completion of the course, an official press release informs. The travel documents like passports and immigration papers are being processed to ensure that the trainees have their document ready by the time they complete their course.
The SICB has engaged experts to train candidates in care of senior citizens, soft skills, inter-personal relations and proficiency in English language. A total of 23 candidates from different parts of Sikkim are undergoing this course.
Similarly, a six month course for housekeeping skills has also been started at Pelling, West Sikkim recently to cater to the job market readily available for this trade. The south district Zilla Panchayat and NGO from Yangang helped find suitable candidates from Yangang and Rabong area where the demand of such trainees is already felt. The candidates, after the training are expected to be placed in Rabong and Sikkim University in Yangang as informed by Zilla Panchayat and other institutions. Nonetheless, the SICB will also support the trainees for their placements in fine Hotels and other organizations for their placement, the release adds.