SPYF holds rally protesting CAA, demands Inner Line Permit in Sikkim
Gangtok, Dec 14
People from different walks of life have registered a strong protest together in a rally against the amended Citizenship Act 2019 here on Saturday. A protest rally organized by Sikkim Progressive Youth Forum [SPYF] was also joined by leaders of different political parties, social and political activists, students from colleges and universities of the State and students of north-eastern States especially from Assam studying in Sikkim Universities.
Participants in the protest rally, which was started from Amdo Golai, moved with carrying banners and placards having slogans like ‘Sikkim Rejects CAB’, ‘No CAB’, ‘We Want Quality Education Not CAB’, ‘Withdraw CAB’, ‘Solidarity with People who have Lost their Life in the Protest Against CAB, ‘Stand with Assam’ and others.
The rally has covered the route from Amdo Golai and covered the stretch of Indira By-Pass Road and finally ended at in front of District Administrative Centre [East]. On the end of the rally, participants have also burnt down copies of the amended citizenship act to register their protest.
A SPYF member, Shankar Sharma mentioned that the rally was mainly to protest the recently amended Citizenship Act and to demand the Inner Line Permit for Sikkim. He added that the rally was mainly to highlight these two important issues. “Everyone needs to come together on this serious issue as presently we are speaking in our own language and talking about our culture and tradition but there is no any guarantee for our future generation to do so,” he said.
He said that the people of Sikkim have been becoming a minority in their own State and if this act would be implemented in the State then it would further open floodgates for a serious influx in the State. “We are still silent even it has become an act now so everyone needs to come together strongly to protect our rights and privilege and to protect our identity of being Sikkimese. We had given our country to become the part of India so the condition for the merger with India needs to be protected,” Mr. Sharma asserted.
He stated that Sikkim was also standing in solidarity with the people of Assam and other parts of the North-Eastern region where an intense protest against the act has been going on. He mentioned that although it has become an act now there was nowhere in written that Sikkim has been exempted from the act. “The statement of the Union Home Minister on Sikkim would not matter but the written in the act would be matter in the future. So, we reject this act and at the same time we demand the ILP form Sikkim,” Mr Sharma asserted. He informed that SPYF would start a state-wide signature campaign on the demand of ILP for Sikkim.
Another SPYF member, Prakash Parajuli expressed that after becoming an act it would be implemented throughout the country and to provide Indian citizenship to the people came from other countries would directly affect the economy, culture, ethnicity, system, and customs to the country and the State. He alleged that Article 371F has been diluting slowly since a long time and now this act would further accelerate the dilution of the special provision of the State. “It is like a slow poison for the Article 371F and there was high possible for the abrogation of the Article 371F following the policy like One Country, One Law of the Centre. Mr. Parajuli expressed that this act will act as a catalyst for the influx to increase more influx in the State.
Hamro Sikkim Party president, Dr. Bina Basnett expressed that HSP was against the CAB since inception as it was totally against the constitution of the country. She expressed that although it has become an act now but there were still possibilities for its amendment. She stated that HSP would go to any extend and even legally against this act. She mentioned that there should be in written that Sikkim has been exempted from the act.
Likewise, a social activist, Nawin Kiran Pradhan expressed that this act has been implemented in Sikkim despite the Union Minister and some leaders from the State claims that Sikkim would not be affected by this act. He said the act recorded that only the areas with ILP and Sixth Schedule have been exempted so the ruling party of the State has been misguiding on this issue by saying the act would not affect the State.
An Assamese student, Stuti Borgohain, studying at Sikkim University, said, “We totally oppose this act as it is totally unconstitutional, unsecular and totally based on the religion and Indian people do not want this act.” She stated that it was the separate case for Assam as the people from Assam have been opposing it for a long time as the people there had fought years to deport illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
“We fought long for it and 855 people sacrificed their lives for this monster CAB and if this imposes in Assam then it is a direct threat to our culture, tradition, and language and we may become a minority in our own land. We are fighting for our rights since 1979,” she said. She stated that the people of Assam were still protesting and suffering lots due to curfew. “We appeal to the people of India to stand with Assam and North Eastern States. It seems to a problem of Assam at present but it is the problem of every Indian,” Ms. Borgohain said.