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National Commission for STs visits Sikkim

By Correspondent

GANGTOK, April 20 � A team from the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), led by its chairman Rameshwar Oraon, along with BL Meena, member and Aditya Mishra, joint secretary is on a three-day visit to the State.

The team is in Sikkim on an official visit from April 18-20, to hold a meeting with the State Chief Minister Pawan to discuss and review the implementation of reservation policy and development programme for STs and other important issues pertaining to STs.

Oraon said at a press conference here yesterday that the representation of Bhutia and Lepcha seats from 12 should be increased to 16, in case of increase of Assembly seats in Sikkim from 32 to 40. The Commission was of the view that keeping in mind the provision of Article 332 of the constitution, it would be appropriate that the number of seats in the State Assembly should be increased from 32 to 40 to provide fair share to all the Scheduled Tribes in the State, he added.

The increased seats in the Sikkim Assembly should first be reserved for the Scheduled Tribes, according to their population in order to safeguard the political rights of all the Scheduled Tribe communities including Bhutia- Lepcha, he added.

Oraon while speaking about the status of tribals in Sikkim expressed his astonishment over the rate of literacy among the tribal community, which is way over 75 per cent. He said that compared to the other States, in Sikkim the tribals are much more literate and therefore a model for other States.

PTI adds: No case of atrocity against tribals has been reported in Sikkim, Oraon said.

After holding a meeting with the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and other senior officials of the Sikkim Government, Oraon said, �I am very happy to find that no case of atrocity against tribals was reported in Sikkim.�

He said the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has not received any proposal regarding reservation of seats for Limbo and Tamang communities in the Sikkim Legislative Assembly.

�I am happy to learn that tribal literacy rate in Sikkim stands at 70 per cent, which is far higher than the national average,� the NCST Chairman said.

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