Joint Action Council (JAC) has called for one day strike/ non cooperation movement tomorrow on 10 April. In a press a conference today, JAC executives Duk Nath Nepal and Passang Gyali Sherpa appealed to all Sikkimese to stay inside their homes as protest against the physical attack on JAC Gen Sec Keshab Sapkota at Singtam yesterday. JAC has also vowed to continue the agitation till the entire section on Sikkim is revoked from the Finance Act 2023, giving income tax exemption to old settlers of Sikkim.
They have further demanded that special assembly session on 10th should revoke the section that has expanded the definition of Sikkimese. Sherpa said that the term Sikkimese includes only those communities mentioned in the 8 May Agreement 1973 which are Lepchas, Bhutias and Nepalis(including Tsongs and Schedule Castes).
JAC said that “Ek Din Ghar Bhitra”(One day at home) on 10th is a protest against dilution of Sikkimese term and against the violent assault faced by Keshab Sapkota, it’s General Secretary.
“The rise in ruling party sponsored violence is Sikkim is alarming. The audacity and fearlessness with which the perpetrator attacked the people of Sikkim assembled to show protest against the imposition of the infringement of the term ‘Sikkimese’ earned by sacrificing nationality, shows the grim situation of law and order in the state.,” said Central Excecutive Committee of Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum.
It further added that the attack was perpetuated in the middle of a busy town, on a office bearer of a State-level organisation, in a day broadlight, using arms, in front of hundreds of Jawans and Police officials, in the presence of media persons, just before the start of a historic event where hundreds of people from across the state were expected to attend, show whose hands were behind the attackers.
“It is one of the attacks in the series of attacks the ruling SKM is sponsoring to crush the voice of dissent and freedom of expression of the people. Such sponsored attacks by misusing the power to muffle the voice of the people has become the modus operandi of the SKM party. Earlier too such attacks were perpetuated on adhoc teachers, SPYF, Sikkim Suraksha Samiti, opposition parties etc,” said SPYF press release.
Criticising the role of Police SPYF’s Central Executive Committee writes,”Like always the Sikkim Police appear deaf, blind and helpless in front of the perpetuator of the crime. Sikkim Police is very quick to act when it comes to arrest on Facebook post. Not very long ago, this same police had arrested more than a dozen students in the middle of night when they were peacefully demanding a meeting with the Education minister. Unfortunately the same police appeared helpless when a mob of goons were going berserk with arms in the middle of the town in the day broad light. There are several videos of knives and rods being used clearly to kill the protesters. One perpetuator was seen proudly showing off hair being removed from Shri Keshav Sapkota’s head, one of the victims of the attack”.
Nitesh R Pradhan
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