Opposition leader faces arrest in PGMSY bridge collapse

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Gangtok, May 30 (UNI) Opposition leader Thukchuk Lachungpa faces a non-bailable arrest following yesterday's PGMSY bridge collapse at Chemjay in East Sikkim where four labourers were killed and twentytwo injured.

Lachungpa who himself had suffered rib fractures in the incident was presently admitted at Central Referral Hospital in Gangtok. He is the contractor of the PGMSY bridge.

Sikkim DIG Akshay Sachdeva today said the police has asked the hospital authorities to hand him over to them as soon as he is released.

An FIR under section 304/336/337 of IPC has been lodged against the former minister at Ranipool police station under whose jurisdiction the bridge comes under.

The Rural Development department under which the PGMSY project comes had filed the case alleging that Lachungpa had bypassed all the departmental guidelines and went ahead with the casting process of the 15 m span bridge last evening, despite being directed not to do so.

The arrest of Lachunpga attaches special significance as he is the chief convener of the Sikkim Himali Rajya Parishad, the major Opposition party in Sikkim.

Police will also investigate to see if there was any negligence on the part of the field engineers of the RMD department, said Mr Sachdeva.

Meanwhile, rescue workers were still trying to retrive the bodies of two labourers trapped in the debris. The other two bodies would be handed over to the family members by this evening.

All the deceased were from Dooars, West Bengal.

UNI BG KK DB1645

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