Former Sikkim Minister passes away

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Gangtok, Mar 14 (UNI) Former Sikkim Minister and Legislator Sonam Choda Lepcha died from greivous injuries and internal bleeding late last night.

The former Legislator, who represented the Dzongu constituency in North Sikkim, was critically injured in an accident yesterday evening when he lost control over his car at the steep inclination next to the community hall at Jeewan Theeng Marg of the Development area here.

Mr Lepcha, who was allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, also hit four other people of whom a 15 year old girl died yesterday. The condition of the three other injured persons was stated to be critical.

Mr Lepcha was rushed to the STNM Hospital, from where he was referred to the Siliguri Hospital at 2130 hours.

However, he died on the way to Siliguri at the Teesta area, about 60 km from Gangtok.

His body was brought back to Gangtok this morning and handed over to his relatives after conducting post-mortem.

Mr lepcha, who represented Dzongu for two terms, served as a minister in the Nar Bahadur Bhandari-led Sikkim Sangram Parishad government from 1985-94.

He was 54 years of age.

UNI BG DPM AB 1052

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