NRC issue: Sikkim no Assam, says ruling SDF

Report by: 
SUJAL PRADHAN
Gangtok
13 Nov 2018

The demand for the introduction of National Register of Citizens and Inner Line Permit in the Himalayan state of Sikkim is now another debate which is the talk of the town especially after a tribal organization has raised the issue in the national capital.
Spokesperson of ruling Sikkim Democratic Front K. T. Gyaltshen has said as far as the SDF rty and the Sikkim Government are concerned there is already a law in place as far as the Inner Line Permit demand is concerned. “We have nothing to say regarding this as there are certain restrictions on foreigners visiting Sikkim and there are restricted areas and laws.”
As far as the issue of NRC was concerned, the issue was pertaining to Assam where the NRC exercise was being conducted under the supervision of the Supreme Court. “Whereas in Sikkim we don’t have that kind of issues right now,” Gyaltshen said. “We have issues of influx, but the State Government is taking care of this and we also have the old laws and article 371F and the Sikkim Subject Regulation 1961. Based on those, one can apply for COI and other documents. In these two matters Sikkim is quite away from what is happening in Assam and other places.”
Member of Nationalist Sikkim United Organization Tshering Wangchuk Lepcha said the NSUO had submitted a memorandum to Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, the Union Tribal Affairs Minisry and the Union Law Ministry on the issues of NRC and ILP. “We have also submitted a memorandum to the PMO.”
“We have demanded under the banner of NSUO that  May 8 be declared a State holiday to celebtrate ‘Samjhauta Diwas’ and a famous song named ‘Janha Bagcha Teesta Rangit ‘ be be sung after the National Anthem in every school and functions to inculcate sense of belongingness towrads our land Sikkim,” Lepcha said. “We still believe that ILP should be implemented in Sikkim and we will further pursue the matter.”