SKM spokesperson Jacob Khaling demands apology from Darjeeling MLA Neeraj Zimba Credit: EastMojo image

Gangtok: Condemning the recent statement of Darjeeling MLA, Neeraj Zimba, on the people of Sikkim as derogatory, the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) said that such remarks would affect the relationship between the two neighbouring regions.

Addressing the media at SKM headquarters, party spokesperson, Jacob Khaling, said, “People of Sikkim and Darjeeling are maintaining a brotherly relation since decades. Whatever be the context of his statement, it stands as derogatory to the people of Sikkim. A learned person will not make such remarks. So, for the sake of the people of Sikkim and Darjeeling, we demand a clarification and an apology from Zimba.”

Darjeeling MLA Neeraj Zimba

On the preparedness regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in state, SKM said that the government is equipped enough to handle the situation. However, he said that the people also have a huge responsibility to play in this regard.

“Entry of people has affected the state. Defence personnel had to reach borders. Infrastructure developers GREF also had to reach as it is part of their service. However, the spread of virus was recorded among three locals in Rongli, which was later confirmed through rapid testing from among 289 persons. Yet, we consider the same to be local transmission and not community transmission,” said Khaling.

Khaling also spoke on the spread of COVID-19 in Rhenock and Singtam, where Singtam Police Station has been declared as a containment zone.

“Singtam police station had 79 officials, including the SHO, of whom three have tested negative. The police station has since been sealed, but a new cadre of Sikkim Police will take over as 79 will be sent for testing and home quarantine. We have also learned that three came positive from Rangpo who were primary contacts of a positive patient from working women’s hostel.”

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SKM spokesperson informed that out of 192 active cases in the state with a new addition of which 106 are from paramilitary and GREF.

On the criticism made by the Opposition, particularly Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), SKM alleged that the SDF spokesperson, MK Subba, was a corrupt government employee in the past.

“MK Subba has a history of being a corrupt government employee when he was working as an engineer. He used to make counterfeit claims for construction works and misappropriated the funds. There are cases filed against him when he had joined the SKM party in 2013. The case was filed by the then SDF government and the same is currently under the Lokayukta. If proceedings follow and an FIR is filed, he will definitely be arrested and then, the blame must not come to SKM.”

Khaling also announced that the the state government is planning to conduct Rapid Antigen Testings for members of press and media.

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