You cannot become ‘Sikkimese’ when you want: A rejoinder to Naresh Agarwal
File image of a recent protest by JAC. (For representation only)

Gangtok: Sikkim saw a protest rally in different parts of the state opposing the Supreme Court of India verdict on Sikkimese Nepali citizens. The major protest rally in Gangtok from Deorali to Bhanu Path saw the participation of politicians and social activists from different organisations and parties.

The protest, called for by the Joint Action Committee, also witnessed the resignation of two senior leaders of JAC President TN Dhakal and senior member Dr SK Rai, days before the protest. Dhakal joined the protest but not as the president.

Addressing the media, Dhakal said, “JAC is a non-political organization, but I hold the designation of vice-president with Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party due to which I gave my resignation. But for this issue in future I will be the first one to take a stand.”

In the JAC President’s absence, General Secretary Keshav Sapkota demanded the state government take necessary steps. He said, “The government has to call an emergency legislative assembly session within 7 days or else we will do state-wide ‘hartal’ (strike)”. Sapkota also demanded the State government sack Sudesh Joshi from the post of Additional Advocate General within the next 7 days.

BJP Legislators DR Thapa and Sonam Tshering Venchungpa were also part of the rally, having the missed the rally called by SKM party a day before. Thapa in his address asserted, “This rally is of Sikkimese people. Whatever has happened shouldn’t have happened. Now the fight is of all Sikkimese, all should come together and fight this rally in the streets, the Indian Parliament, state legislative assembly and anywhere possible.”

SKM party spokesperson Jacob Khaling, who organised another protest a day before, also joined and lend chorus once again to the demand placed by the JAC. “We have to rise above party and take part in issues that affects Sikkim. Today in this particular rally we all have risen from party level and kept aside our political differences and took part in this rally,” he said.

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