Citizenship Bill

Guwahati, January 2019:

The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) government in Sikkim has come under fire for showing support for the extremely controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

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The Bill, which seeks to provide political asylum to oppressed minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Bangladesh is seen as a direct threat to the Article 371F and the Sikkim Subject Regulation Act 1961 which put strict stipulations on who can and who cannot be residents of Sikkim.

Passang Sherpa, coordinator of Save Sikkimese Soul, an organization that seeks to make people aware of the importance of Article 371F which protects the old laws of Sikkim, has criticized the Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling for his stand on the Bill.

“Of late, Chief Minister of Sikkim is lamenting that Central Government is not recognising Sikkim as a stakeholder in the Union of India in his public speeches, but openly supporting the ill conceived Bill to wipe out the existence and distinct identity of Sikkim by indulging in appeasing their masters in Delhi when they had opportunity to make their voice heard in Parliament”, Sherpa’s statement read.

Sherpa also criticized the recent announcement of SC and OBC certificate to non COI/SSC holders and alleged that yesterday’s support to the Citizenship Bill shows the conspiracy of the SDF government to do away with Article 371F and its provisions.

Speaking to InsideNe, Sherpa stated that Sikkim has its own protection of Article 371F. He criticized the Member of Lok Sabha for supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill without understanding the implications. He added that the Bill is a danger to the Political and Social future of Sikkim.

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