Gangtok: Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on Thursday expressed gratitude to the Union government for making efforts to get the ‘foreigner’ tag on the Sikkimese Nepali community rescinded by the Supreme Court.
The apex court ordered the removal of reference to Sikkimese Nepalis as “people of foreign origin” from its January 13 verdict. The reference had sparked protests in the Himalayan state and a bandh was called on Wednesday.
“I sincerely express my gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other ministers and legal luminaries for their efforts to get the foreigner’ tag on the aggrieved Sikkimese Nepali community removed by the SC,” he said.
The CM was speaking in the assembly during a special day-long session convened to discuss the issue. A resolution was passed on the matter.
He said the state government took swift measures to file a review petition with the apex court on February 2, following which the SC passed an order removing the reference from its verdict.
Noting that the controversy has now ended, he cautioned people against falling prey to political propaganda unleashed by “some with vested interests”, and said a committee has been formed to check inflammatory contents on social media to maintain peace and harmony in the state.
He said a committee has been formed to look into the applicability’ of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the state. The panel will make recommendations after studying the impact of ILP on other northeastern states by visiting Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.
Former chief minister and lone opposition MLA Pawan Kumar Chamling also lauded the SC’s removal of the reference from its verdict.
However, he left the House just before the CM was to address, annoying the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) members.
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Some BJP lawmakers also spoke welcomed the SC’s revised order.
After the session, Speaker Arun Upreti adjourned the House sine die.
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