Akhil Adivasi Vikas Parishad comes out in support of ACT

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Gangtok, Oct 9 (UNI) Akhil Adivasi Vikas Parishad (AAVP) today came out in full support of Affected Citizen Teesta (ACT)'s ongoing Satyagraha against the proposed implementation of mega power projects at Dzongu in north Sikkim.

The concerns of ACT was totally justified and according to our Constitution no tribal people should be displaced because of so-called developmental projects, said AAVP president Somjibhai Damor.

Mr Damor had come along with AAVP West Bengal branch president Birsa Tirkey here to meet the ACT members whose relay hunger strike reached 111 days today here at BL house premises. The AAVP leadership will be touring Dzongu tomorrow for a spot visit where the mega power projects were proposed.

Claiming that there were 53 MPs in AAVP fold, Mr Damor said that the MPs would be raising the Dzongu issue collectively in the next Parliament session.

Dzongu, a remote corner of north Sikkim is a protected area for the indigenous Lepcha population. The area had been declared protected by the earlier monarchy of Sikkim and it has been upheld by the Constitution under Article 371 F.

A section of Lepchas under the banner of ACT had been protesting against the proposed power projects with a relay hunger strike from June 20.

Several rounds of talks between the state government and ACT in this regard have failed. The protest has spilled over into the neighbouring Darjeeling district and Lepchas from this region have joined the protest.

''We have already submitted our memorandums to the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister demanding the projects to be stopped to protect the indigenous Lepcha tribals,'' said Mr Damor.

The Centre would be submitting a report to us very soon, he added.

Claiming that the projects would harbinger destruction to Lepchas of Dzongu, Mr Tirkey termed these step as atrocity on ST people. The projects must be stopped or all the Adivasi people would launch a nationwide protest, he said.

Lyansang Pamsang, a Lepcha from Kalimpong and the president of Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association reiterated that Dzongu is a holy place for all Lepchas and its sanctity must be maintained.

UNI

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