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SKM’s peace rally against ‘foreign origin’ tag on Sikkimese Nepali

The youth and women wings from the ruling front, Sikkim Krantikari Morcha (SKM) party organise rally reacting upon the foreign origin tag on Sikkimese Nepali.

Arun Upreti, SLA Speaker and also the General Secretary of SKM, along with state cabinet ministers and party cadres of SKM party took part in the peace rally.

Addressing the media after the completion of the rally, Jacob Khaling, SKM Spokesperson said, “Not only us but all Nepali and other communities of Sikkim doesn’t accept the Supreme Court’s observation. The state government is working on the review petition, we will soon submit it before February 13”

“In Sikkim we live in communal harmony, a threat to one community is a threat to all. The SKM government is loyal towards the people of Sikkim, until we are in the state government no community will face any type of civic violence in the state.”

“This rally is an example that if any type of interference takes place then SKM party also the State government will hit the roads and fight for the right”. He added

Putting blame upon the former SDF Government Khalling said, ” During the former SDF tenure various allegations were put on Nepali and other communities living in the state, with the petition the SKM government will erase all those allegations”

The rally also saw the participation of Lok Sabha MP, Indra Hang Subba. Addressing the media Subba said, ” I have been placing Sikkim centric demands in the parliament when a time is given. And in this particular issue, I’ll look into all the technicalities and place them in the parliament”

Various allegations was put on to the SKM party by political parties of Sikkim, Ganesh Rai, Cheif Cordinator of the newly formed Citizen Action Party on January 29 stated that, “The rally is mere eyewash, how can party who is in power can organise such rallies, they should be answerable and file review petition.”

The shell of outrage was broken when the Supreme court issued its verdict on the long pending issue of Income Tax Exemption to the old settlers of Sikkim.

Association of Old Settlers of Sikkim and others had filed a petition in the Supreme Court praying the court to grand exemption on income tax. Following to the petition, state government of Sikkim and Union government was held as respondents.

Likewise, the SC on January 13, 2023 issued its verdict in favour of the petitioners.

The SC issued verdict in one paragraph quoted Nepali of Sikkim to be of foreign origin, it read, “In 1948, the Sikkim Income Tax Manual. 1948 (SITM) was promulgated by the Ruler of Sikkim (the Chogyal). Under the SITM, all persons engaged in business were subjected to tax irrespective of their origin. Therefore. there was no difference made out between the original inhabitants of Sikkim, namely, the Bhutia-Lepchas and the persons of foreign origin settled in Sikkim like the Nepalis or persons of Indian origin who had settled down in Sikkim generations back. It is averred that under the SITM. Income Tax was paid by all without any discrimination on the ground of place of birth, race or ethnicity.”

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