Shah assures protection of Sikkim’s Constitutional provisions

Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023 07:30 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023 02:00 [IST]

Shah assures protection of Sikkim’s Constitutional provisions

Union Home & Finance ministries to file joint review petition

GANGTOK,: Union Home minister Amit Shah has assured that the Constitutional provisions for the people of Sikkim shall be protected and the public sentiments well respected.

The assurances were given by the Union minister during a meeting at New Delhi on Sunday evening with a delegation led by State BJP president D.R. Thapa.

A press release informs that Thapa was accompanied by party MLAs and members of JAC and Sikkim Nagarik Samaj.

The team apprised Shah about the issue of foreigners tag to Sikkimese Nepali and distortion of 'Sikkimese' definition as a result of the recent Supreme Court judgement.

After a patient hearing, the Union Home minister assured that sentiments of the Sikkimese community are well respected. He mentioned that people of Sikkim are an integral and essential part of India and the Constitutional provision for people of Sikkim shall be protected.

He advised that Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Finance shall jointly bring the matter for review before the court, on an immediate basis, and seek clarity on the term Sikkimese, in line with Constitutional provisions. He appealed to the people of Sikkim to maintain peace and harmony in the State and advised political parties to refrain from attempting to take political mileage out of this sensitive issue, the release from the State BJP president mentions.

JAC president Shanta Pradhan and advisor Tseten Tashi Bhutia were also in the delegation meeting the Union Home minister on the same issue.

“The Home minister informed the delegates that he was well aware of the development and had initiated necessary measures to address the issue by immediately calling for the details. He further said that he studied the judgement thoroughly and discussed it with Union Finance ministry, Solicitor General and office of the Registrar General of India on the issue and had taken a decision to file a joint review petition (Home Ministry and Finance Ministry) in the Supreme Court respecting the Sikkimese sentiment and their distinct identity,” said Pradhan in his press statement.

As per the release, it was told to the delegation that Government of India is aware of the special status of Sikkim and the distinct identity of Sikkimese community. Thus, distorting the definition of the term “Sikkimese’ and terming the Sikkimese Nepali community as person of foreign origin settled in Sikkim was beyond the purview of the Supreme Court and was not based on the historical facts and evidences, the delegation was informed.

The JAC thanked the Union Home minister for taking up this sensitive issue “very seriously” and for the assurances given to resolve it expeditiously. The delegation is returning assured of the intervention at the highest level, the release mentions.

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi