Gangtok: For the first time in the last 20 years, the peaceful and quiet atmosphere of Sikkim has been disturbed with political clashes being reported in the run-up to the state assembly and Lok Sabha polls.
According to official figures, two persons have been killed in political clashes in the last two months and at least 40-45 left injured so far while a number of vehicles have been arsoned.
The ruling party Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has accused the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) of bringing in people from outside the state to intimidate their party cadres.
"Elections have always been peaceful here in the last 20 years. But this time its different. Two of our party members have been killed and several others injured," SDF spokesperson Bhim Dahal told PTI here.
He alleged SKM is bringing in muscle power from outside the state to attack them.
SKM leaders have denied the charges and blamed the ruling party instead for pre poll clashes. SKM is led by Prem Singh Tamang, also known as Goley, who had resigned from SDF last year over differences with Chief Minister Pawan Chamling to form his new party.
Sikkim goes to poll on April 12 for the 32 assembly constituencies and the lone Lok Sabha seat.
Earlier in the month, SDF vice-president from Rinchenpong N K Gurung was brutally attacked on his way back from a rally in Jorethang. He died while being taken to Siliguri for treatment.
"We have instructed all our cadre not to indulge in any kind of violent retaliation as it would disturb the democratic process of elections," Dahal said.
Sikkim DIG Mandeep Singh Tuli said around 3500 police personnel has been deployed all over the state besides 15 companies of West Bengal Police force to maintain law and order in the state.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer Urvashi Poudyal said they have identified 121 polling stations as critical where they would be taking adequate measures for smooth voting.