Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday spoke to Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and said the Centre would ensure the safety and security of National Highway 10. NH-10 that connects Siliguri to Gangtok has been witnessing vandalism and crisis of essential commodities following the violence in Darjeeling over the demand for Gorkhaland in the neighbouring West Bengal. During a telephonic conversation with Chamling, Singh discussed the security situation in the state. Singh also assured Chamling that the Centre would do everything possible to save the people of Sikkim from any misery.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi has also been directed to coordinate with West Bengal administration and ensure the safety, security and smooth traffic on NH 10.
According to PTI, there were reports that traffic between Siliguri and Gangtok was affected as drivers of West Bengal-registered vehicles have stopped plying to Sikkim. Recently, there have been incidents of vandalising and looting Sikkim-registered trucks in Siliguri. The incidents started after Chamling extended his support to the demand of Gorkhaland and also wrote to Singh saying it was a justified and long-pending demand of the people of the Darjeeling.
Earlier, Chamling had said that Sikkim has been suffering “untold loss owing to the recurring blockage of its one and only lifeline NH-10, during the last 30 years of Gorkhaland agitation”. On the other hand, Sikkim transporters are on an indefinite strike demanding immediate arrest of the miscreants who carried out attacks against Sikkim vehicles at Siliguri.
Concerned over vandalism of Sikkim-registered vehicles in West Bengal, Chamling had said he is planning to move the Supreme Court in this regard.
with PTI inputs