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Melli CP case: Family tests negative, two constables suspended

Saturday, Jul 04, 2020 13:45 [IST]

Last Update: Saturday, Jul 04, 2020 08:07 [IST]

Melli CP case: Family tests negative, two constables suspended

GANGTOK/NAMCHI: In a major relief for all concerned, the five members of a family who entered Sikkim without any proper authorization through Melli checkpost have tested negative for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, Sikkim Police has suspended two constables who were on duty at Melli checkpost when the Jorethang-bound family went past uncheckedin the morning hours of July 1.
According to Health authorities and south district administration, samples of the family which includes a 4-year-old boy were sent for testing on Thursday. Test results of all five persons came negative on Friday.
The group had attended a funeral at Jorethang on July 1 where it came to public knowledge that they came from Siliguri allegedly without proper Covid-19 protocols followed at Melli checkpost. They were swiftly placed in government quarantine facility by the administration while allegations rained against top government officers for allowing the unchecked entry to happen.
A case under various IPC sections and Disaster Management Act has been registered against the four adult members of the group. They will be kept in the quarantine centre for 14 days.
Chief Minister P.S. Golay has taken a serious view over the whole incident and has directed the chief secretary to investigate the matter in depth. He has promised appropriate action against those involved in giving illegal passage to the group.
An explanation has also been sought from the Sikkim Police DGP.
Two separate investigations are being done. One probe is conducted by DC (South) Ragul K. while another independent probe is being done by the Home secretary (coordination). Both have been directed to submit their report by July 3.
Meanwhile, two police constables deputed at Melli checkpost have been suspended following the unchecked entry of five persons from Siliguri through the south district border checkpost.
The decision taken up by the investigation committee is a normal procedure in such cases and suspension is not punishment, said DIG (Range) Prawin Gurung on Friday.
Speaking with SIKKIM EXPRESS, the DIG (Range) said: “These two constables were on duty, wherever they may have got the orders, legally or illegally, they should not have let the family enter through Melli checkpost. A prima facie case has been registered and they have been suspended. Suspension is not a punishment, they are not declared as guilty, it happened under their watch and as a normal course of action, they have been suspended. Now the investigation is going on and the action was taken from the district level.”
Gurung said clarity on the case would come in the next 2-3 days.
The Melli police station house officer has been ordered to submit an explanation to the investigation committee by today.
“There were four persons on duty on July 1, as per their shifts. Those two constables interacted with that group. Who allowed their entry is a matter of investigation. The family has been registered in Melli checkpost for their entry", informed the DIG (Range).
“Perception of the public may be that a lower level employee was suspended but for a clear inquiry without affecting the investigation, they have been suspended. It is a precautionary measure so that they do not get involved in the case nor do they fabricate on the evidence", informed Gurung. 

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi