SKM student’s front demands ‘strict action’ against all involved in granting permission


Gangtok, 05 Mar:

Sikkim Krantikari Morcha has demanded that the concerned authorities take “strict action” against the District Collector and Superintend of Police of South District for having given permission to Sikkim Democratic Front to hold a public meeting at Namthang Senior Secondary School ground on 04 March during working hours of the school.

The party also announced that it will take the matter in the courts.

Addressing a press conference here today, SKM student’s front general secretary, Sonam Chopel Sherpa, mentioned that a notification of the South District Administration taken out on 11 September 2018 had designated venues for political parties to hold public meetings.

While the Namthang school ground was among the designated venues, the notification clearly detailed that the ground could be used on Sundays or holidays when classes were not underway at the school, he added.

Permission given to SDF to use the ground on a working day in contravention to its own notification was a clear case of favoritism extended by the South district administration, SKM insists.

It may be recalled that SKM had blocked the road at Namthang on Monday in protest against this side-stepping of rules and sources inform that the matter is expected to come up at an all-party meeting to be called by the district administration.

Meanwhile, Mr Sherpa further informed that SKM’s South District student’s front convener, Kabita Sapkota, had also filed a general diary at Namthang Police Outpost against an SDF meeting being held at a school ground on a working day, arguing that it would disturb studies.

It was when even this GD was ignored and the SDF party meeting allowed to go ahead despite a notification disallowing such functions at a school ground on a working day, SKM party workers sat on a dharna on Namthang road for the whole of Monday.

SKM student’s front vice-president, Bhim Kumari Sharma, also condemned SDF’s insistence to use the school ground on a working day, while the SKM student’s front chief convener, Karma Tashi Bhutia, highlighted that such disregard towards the interests of students exposed the hypocrisy behind the Chief Minister’s frequent claims that education was a priority for his government.

He also demanded that the Human Resource Development Department undertake a thorough investigation into the matter and take strict action against the Principal and other involved in issuing an NOC for the political meeting at the school ground on a school day.

The SKM student’s front coordinator, Pema Chopel, added that this was also in violation of Election Commission of India’s norms disallowing party meetings in school premises.