Bhaichung Bhutia

Sikkim Police has arrested nine people for burning the effigy of former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia at Namchi in South Sikkim district.

They have been booked for the alleged violation of the lockdown in force in the State, said a top police official on Monday.

“We arrested nine persons from Namchi town last evening and released them on bail since the offense was a bailable one,” South Sikkim’s SSP Thakur Thapa said.

He said that police are searching for some more people involved in the incident and they too will be arrested soon.

Thakur said the accused persons, said to be the members of the Dakshin Sikkim Nari Sangh, held a protest march in Namchi town last week in violation of the lockdown restrictions.

The lockdown was imposed in the state in view of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The women protesters had taken out a protest march against the former India Captain’s reported opposition to the construction of a 300-bed hospital in Namchi town.

Chief minister Prem Singh Tamang had laid a foundation stone for the hospital last month.

The protesting women had raised slogans like ‘Bhaichung Bhutia murdabaad’ before setting his effigy on fire in protest against his opposition to the hospital project.

Bhutia, who is also the working President of the Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP), had slammed the misplaced priorities of the Prem Singh Tamang government at a time when the government has been “unable” to bring the pandemic under control.

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