Gangtok: Ahead of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman‘s visit to Sikkim on Monday, Matri Bhumi Suraksha Sangathan Convenor, Duk Nath Nepal, has called for an investigation into a group of “60 camouflaged escapists with no nationality” who are believed to have been involved in various illegal activities in Sikkim.

These activities include plotting the recent Income Tax exemption for Old Settlers, as well as the MCX scam, gift racket, and money laundering.

Nepal referred to the group as “Ali Baba and 60 Chor” and accused this group of financing political parties in Sikkim, with a direct connection to central parties. According to Nepal, the group sponsors regional parties and serves as the financiers for almost all political parties in the state. “This has resulted in a 47-year history of democratic elections in Sikkim where no national party has succeeded in making a significant presence in the state. The group allegedly buys votes for any regional party they choose, for their economic benefit, and even influences national parties in choosing state leadership based on their convenience,” he said.

Nepal, in a press conference in Gangtok on Sunday, has denied the existence of a community in Sikkim called “Old Settlers”. He stated that this group does not represent the business community of the state as a whole, nor do they represent people from the mainland. “This group is comprised of criminals and escapists who fled from the mainland and have camouflaged themselves in the difficult terrain of the distant Himalayan Kingdom to shield their identity,” he said.

Nepal added that the group has never participated in any social or political movement in Sikkim and they avoid receiving the identity certificate (Sikkim Subject Certificate) issued by the erstwhile King of Sikkim for fear of disclosing their true criminal identity. Nepal also stated that this group does not represent the community of Indian origin from the mainland and that 99% of Sikkimese traders do not fall under the income tax-paying category. As such, Nepal requested that the Old Settlers community should not be given an exemption from income tax at any cost.

Nepal, who is also a member of the Joint Action Council, represented the Matri Bhumi Suraksha Sangathan at a press conference in Gangtok on Sunday.

Nepal announced that the organization was all set to submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office, the Union Home Minister, and the Union Finance Minister.

The memorandum would demand an investigation into the gift racket, money laundering, and MCX fraud that had taken place in Sikkim. Nepal further demanded that the Income Tax exemption, as demanded by the Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim, be denied.

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Nepal further stated, “Loyalty of the Old Settlers community was neither with Sikkim nor with India. At one point in time, the community even hoped that China would take over Sikkim, similar to Tibet. A representative of this group of criminals made this statement in a video. The family members of the same individual were arrested for smuggling red sandalwood to China,” he said.

Nepal accused the group of being involved in the gift racket, money laundering, and the recent MCX scam. He claimed that not a single member of the Sikkimese origin was involved in any such criminal activity. Nepal referred to the group as “Ali Baba and 60 Chor” and accused them of daring to put the image and security of the nation at risk, just to receive the tax exemption.

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