Sikkim protest
A view of the joint conference of Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) and Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP) at Gangtok. Image credit - Northeast Now

The Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) and Sikkim Sangram Parishad (SSP) on Friday came together to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019.

Both the parties asserted that the new law is not in the interest of the people of Sikkim and the Article 371F.

The CAB has become an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind gave the assent to the bill.

Also read: CAB becomes Act, gets President Kovind’s assent

Addressing a joint press conference of HSP and SSP, HSP working president Bhaichung Bhutia mentioned that there was lots of confusion among the people of Sikkim regarding the new Act.

By showing a copy of the new Act, Bhutia stated that there was nothing in writing for Sikkim in the CAB as it mentioned in some other states of the country.

“There is nothing in writing that Sikkim has been excluded from the CAB. Although the union home minister made a clarification on Sikkim, our question is why exemption of Sikkim from the CAB is not in written form,” he said.

Bhutia asserted that as it was not written anywhere about the exemption of Sikkim from the CAB, so it hints that the state has not been excluded from the bill.

“The CAB is totally against the interest of the people of Sikkim and Article 371F and can affect the state in the long run,” he said.

Bhutia stated that the CAB can open the floodgates in the future as Sikkim is surrounded by international borders.

“We cannot accept the CAB at any cost in Sikkim as it may affect the state in the future,” he said.

He asserted that influx was a serious issue for Sikkim as it can make the local Sikkimese people into a minority.

SSP senior vice president Kamal Rai stated that the ideology of SSP and HSP was the same on the CAB so it would not accept it for Sikkim.

“We have been working on the ideology of our leader late NB Bhandari who always worked in the interest of Sikkim and its issues,” he said.

He mentioned that the CAB was totally against the people of Sikkim, so both the parties would approach the Centre on this issue if required.

Sagar Chhetri

Sagar Chhetri is Northeast Now Correspondent in Gangtok. He can be reached at: sagchhetri@gmail.com