Sikkim police on Thursday arrested four members of the Sikkim Suraksha Samiti, including its president Madan Tamang, for allegedly stage-managing an arson attack on the site near the district court in Gangtok where the organisation has been staging an indefinite dharna for over three months.
The police said all the four arrested persons were charged with causing mischief by fire, providing false information, making false charges of offence, criminal conspiracy and common intent. “We have also cleared the spot where the dharna was being staged,” said a police source.
The arrests looked imminent on Wednesday itself after Tenzing Loden Lepcha, the superintendent of police of Gangtok district, had accused them of stage-managing the arson on the basis of CCTV footage sourced from a private building in the vicinity of the dharna site.
Lepcha said the video clearly showed the fire was lit by one of the samiti members who was inside the tent set up at the dharna site. “We asked around in houses nearby and got the footage…The angle of the CCTV was perfectly facing the dharna site,” he said, giving the entire sequence of events of the incident.
The arrest of its members has caused more than an embarrassment to the samiti, which had been staging the dharna to demand action against the holders of fake domicile certificates of Sikkim.
On Tuesday, which was the 100 day of the dharna, the samiti had alleged its protest site was set on fire by some miscreants in the early hours.
Samiti members were not available for comment on the arrest.