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Sikkim student leader Padam Gurung’s death was accidental: Probe report

First Published: 2nd November, 2023 20:44 IST

The probe committee has recommended that Sikkim govt should pay Rs 25 lakh as ex-gratia to Padam Gurung’s family

Reported by Prakash Adhikari | Copy edited by Lipika Roy

The controversial death case of Sikkim student leader Padam Gurung has been ruled as an accidental death by the high level one-man judicial commission probing the case. 

Based on the recommendation of the high level probe commission, the then SP of Namchi District, Manish Kumar Verma has been issued show cause notice for failure of supervisory duty and the then-SHO of Namchi Police Station, Dawa Lhamu Pahkrin, and Sub-Inspector Sidharth Subba have been suspended. 

The one-man commission led by Justice Narendra Kumar Jain, former Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court, has recommended that the Sikkim government pay Rs 25 lakh as ex-gratia to Padam Gurung’s family, Chief Secretary VB Pathak said on Thursday briefing the media about the findings of the report.

The police has been asked to initiate action against Keshav Thatal, owner of Hotel Crossroads where Gurung was seen before he disappeared, for serving alcohol to minors.

The commission evaluated 102 witnesses and 167 exhibits before arriving at the conclusion that Gurung who was a Student Representative Council (SRC) member at Sikkim Government College, Kamrang in Namchi was an accidental death.

Padam Gurung was untraceable since June 27, 2023 night after he was reportedly washed away following heavy rainfall. His body was recovered from a drain the next day in the Kazitar area of Namchi, Sikkim.

Many people thought that Gurung was murdered and protests were held seeking justice for the deceased student leader. 

Sikkim government set up the high level judicial inquiry into the death of Gurung and the probe started on June 26.

Also Read: Padam Gurung death case: Justice NK Jain submits judicial inquiry report to CM Tamang

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