Gangtok, 02 Jul:

Claiming that assurances made to them when their lands were acquired for the Eklavya Model Residential School in North Sikkim back in 1998 remain largely unmet, a group of the land donors have now contacted the International Human Rights Council’s Sikkim branch to take up the matter and get their demands heard and met.

They are appealing to the concerned department and authorities and the State Government to initiate and fulfil clauses assured to them when their land was acquired for the school.

Addressing a press conference here today, they informed that a total 21 families parted with their lands for the school on the promise that they will be provided 4th Grade employment in the school and contracts for the construction.

“We have not received anything; not a job, nor a contract and not even compensation for the land till date. We have suffered a lot since cultivable land was also acquired for the school,” said Dawa Tshering Bhutia, one of the land donors.

He went on say that they have been making the rounds of government offices with their demands for 17 years now, but have not received any positive news.

Hok Tshering Bhutia, another land donor, shared that his family has no earning member and with their land gone, they were also landless but the concerned authority appears to be in no mood to address their problem.

They state that while some of the affected land owners did receive a job, most of them have ben ignored.

They have now handed over the matter to International Human Rights Council, Sikkim Branch, to pursue on their behalf.

President of IHRC-Sikkim, Robin Rai, in turn informed that they have the concerned authority a month’s time to resolve the matter, failing which they will be writing to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and even take the matter to the Courts.