Social Welfare Secy directed by MoTA to take action on land protection of L-T’s

Gangtok, 14 Jun:

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs [MoTA] has directed the Commissioner/ Secretary of Social Justice Empowerment & Welfare Department, Government of Sikkim, to take appropriate action regarding land protection of the Limboo and Tamang communities in the State. This by virtue of their being Scheduled Tribes now and coming under the protection accorded to STs against alienation of their land.

A press release issued by Limboo-Tamang Voluntary Committee [LTVC] informs that this was notified in a MoTA letter dated 06 June received by LTVC president, Yehang Tshong. This was in reply to the follow-up letter of LTVC dated 01 May, 2018 submitted to MSJ&E, Union Minister, Thhawarchand Gehlot, by LTVC team at his office in Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.

The release adds that an LTVC team had visited New Delhi last month and visited various Central Ministries, Union Ministers and bureaucrats with regard to L-T seat reservation issue in Sikkim.

The LTVC had also highlighted issues for protection of L-T land in Sikkim and had also submitted a 3-point agenda memorandum seeking Indigenous Primitive Status for Limbu community under historical background.

The LTVC has alleged Chief Minister Pawan Chamling’s decision to raise L-Ts’ land issue after 16 years to be “hasty and aimed” at gaining credit as the State Government knew that LTVC had raised the L-T land protection issue at Centre soon and that orders would come from the Centre to the State Government to implement land protection law for LT communities in Sikkim.

“If State Government was sincere towards L-T communities then they would have implemented L-T lands’ protection law in Sikkim in 2003 itself when LT were declared ST as this falls under State subject and would not have kept it pending like L-T seat reservation in Sikkim Legislative Assembly for 16 years. Till now none had raised or even had thought of this LT land protection and now everyone seems to be busy giving the credit to someone who had never initiated it,” the release adds.

The LTVC has extended gratitude to MoTA and MSJ&E for taking positive steps for the welfare of L-T communities in Sikkim.

It is further informs that the LTVC will soon visit the Commissioner-cum-Secretary, State SJE&WD and submit a letter requesting him to follow MOTA’s directions and take necessary steps and issue a new notification proclaiming protection of LT lands in Sikkim at the earliest.