Rangpo, 12th March: Locals staged a protest today at the construction site of the upcoming Sivok-Rangpo railway project in Melli. The residents of Melli, Kirney, and Rangpo along the National Highway 10 gathered in large number to demonstrate against the March 10 gun violence in Melli. The protesters demanded stringent actions against those involved in the shooting and the immediate arrest of the main accused.
It is to be noted that various construction works under the Sivok-Rangpo railway project are currently underway in Stage 1 and Stage 2 in the Melli area, on the West Bengal-Sikkim border. On the afternoon of March 10, a conflict broke out at the Rangpo construction site during which two youths were shot by Kunal Pradhan, Ward No. 1 Councillor of Kalimpong Municipality. The youths are currently undergoing treatment.
The protesters stated that the incident has left them in a state of panic and fear greatly for their safety. They strongly condemned the March 10 incident and demanded immediate arrest of the prime accused.
According to the information, the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM- Binay Faction) expelled Kunal Pradhan and his associates soon after the shooting incident surfaced. The accused Councillor, Kunal Pradhan, has been absconding ever since the incident while his companions have been arrested.