Resolution seeking ST status for eight ethnic communities adopted

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Gangtok, Mar 7 (UNI) The Sikkim Legislative Assembly today adopted a resolution urging the Centre to grant ST status to eight ethnic communites of the state on the third day of the Budget Session.

Moving the resolution, state Forest Minister S B Subedi once again urged the Centre to incorporate the Gurung, Kirat Khambu Rai, Mangar, Bhujel, Dewan, Sunwar, Jogi and Thami communities in the Scheduled Tribes list without ''further delay'', in keeping with the Constitutional protection guaranteed to Sikkim subject holders and their descendants under Article 371 F of the Constitution.

The above eight communites have already been included in the OBC list under the Centre's notification and in the list of the Most Backward Classes under the Sikkim government's nofitication.

These communities possess the same cultural, racial and socio-economic characteristics as the Limboo and Tamang communities, which are already notified as Tribal communities, Mr Subedi said.

''These remaining enthic communities cannot be excluded from the group of the ethnic Limboo and Tamang communities already included as Scheduled Tribes,'' he said.

Mr Subedi said the Centre had, as early as 1976, written to the Sikkim government to consider some of the above communities for inclusion in the ST list. However, at that time, the Sikkim government did not consider any Sikkimese Nepalese as mentioned by the Centre and deprived these communities from their due entitlement, he said.

Another resolutoin seeking Central OBC status for the Sikkim government-accorded OBC communities (Newar, Bahun and Chettri) was passed by the House today.

State Roads and Bridges Minister D T Lepcha introduced the resolution and reminded the Centre of its pending demand for incorporation of Newar, Bahun and Chettri communities in the Central list of OBCs without any further delay.

The above three communities had already been declared as OBC by the Sikkim government.

Three Bills - Sikkim Anti-Drugs (Amendment) Bill, Sikkim Ecology and Environment Cess (Amendment) Bill and Sikkim Registration of Companies (Amendment Bill) - were passed by the House today.

Demand for grants made by six Cabinet Ministers for their departments were also passed by the House in today's proceedings.

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