The Supreme Court Monday warned various political parties, agitating for a separate Gorkhaland, against blocking the sole road linking Sikkim to the rest of the country.
A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Deepak Verma warned Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other political parties with derecognition and their leaders of arrests and detentions for blocking the National Highway 31A, linking Sikkim.
The bench issued the warning while hearing two lawsuits filed last year by the Sikkim government and advocate O.P. Bhandari contending that in the wake of the agitations for Gorkhaland, the entire stretch of the national highway in West Bengal had been blocked by agitations, cutting Sikkim off.
The two lawsuits had demanded restoration of traffic on NH 31A.
Though the agitations subsequently had died down, the court had kept the petitions pending with itself to deal with the eventualities of revival of the agitation with similar ferocity as witnessed last June.
As the petitions came up for hearing in normal course, Bhandari sought adequate warning to the agitators against blocking the road, pleading detention for party leaders and derecognition of the parties responsible.
Agreeing with Bhandari, the court said: “If anybody is found obstructing the traffic, they (leaders) would be held responsible and detained.”
The political parties too “should be derecognised and declared unlawful,” observed the bench adding its last year’s order against obstruction of the road to Sikkim “should be followed in letter and spirit”.