It was in the broad daylight of 14 December 2021 that the news was shared with the press that an unfortunate event had taken place inside New STNM Multi-speciality hospital of Sochakgang, Gangtok, East Sikkim. As reported, 42-year-old man walked inside the hospital armed with a knife, had some argument with a lady attendant and suddenly the man became violent and, in the process, stabbed the attendant and a doctor, a cardiologist. After the incident the man walked out of the hospital still armed where he was nabbed by the police personnel. Both the victims sustained major injuries and according to the sources are still in ventilator.
Few days ago, in the early mornings of 2 December 2021 a similar violent incident was reported form M. G. Marg, the heart of capital city, Gangtok. It was reported that a luxury vehicle penetrated the barricades of no driving zone of the Marg and hit two individuals, both male. The vehicle left the incident spot but later was arrested by the police personnel. Two the victims lost their lives in that unfortunate event and the other two were injured.
Though both the cases are not connected either way but through initial reports and briefings it was clear that both the unfortunate events had a thing in common i.e. the accused had some kind of anger or grudge against the victim which led to violence harming or taking the lives of the innocents, related or not related with both victims and the accused.
In the first case according to the authorities the 42-year-old man had some kind of personal grudge against the lady attendant working in the hospital. It was reported that an argument broke out between them which led to unfortunate event. Whereas in the second case it was claimed that there was an argument within two groups, a group of six who were the employees of a hotel in Gangtok and the other group was identified as cab drivers. The accused left the argument and later came back with the vehicle that was used to trample the victims.
Preliminary investigations suggested that both the cases were the result of violence instigated by anger.
Sikkim is considered among the most peaceful states of the country and stands high as the role model for other states. It is known for its peace-loving citizenry. One of State’s biggest industries, tourism, flourishes because of the very peace nature of the state. But such unethical and criminal incidents may be damaging the state’s reputation. It is not that these kinds of incidents were unheard of or were not reported in the past. But the frequency in which such incidents are getting reported is indeed alarming.
A general yet an important question arises.
Who or what should be considered responsible for maintaining the peace in the state? Is it the lawmakers, the police authorities, the administration or the common folks? Is it because we are failing to inculcate the education of peace and moral values in our growing generation? Or can it be our silence whenever such unfortunate events happen?
Whoever and whatever it may be but it should be considered as the collective failure of every citizenry of the state if it could not maintain its peace and if they feel that their peace is getting compromised it should spark a concern.
By Paul Rai