A follow up meeting was also held with the Union Minister for Panchayati Raj and DONER, Mani Shankar Aiyer during which he made it clear that “electricity was a State subject and that it depended on the State Government how it would deal with the subject.” The press release adds that this statement by the Union Minister “clearly contradicts the oft-repeated lines that the Center is pressurizing the State to undertake the mega hydro electric power projects.”

During the meeting at the Planning Commission, Dr. Kirit Parekh assured the delegation that he will come for a spot visit to Sikkim to assess the issue himself especially that of Dzongu, some time in January next year. Memorandums were also submitted at the Prime Minister’s Office and the President’s Secretariat.

An independent fact-finding team comprising of journalists, intellectuals, environmentalists, social activists will also be visiting Sikkim, especially the Dzongu area to study the issue and build up support for the movement, the press release said.

An interaction meeting was also held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University where the gathering was appraised of the issue and the movement. The group included Mrs. Nandita Haksar a senior human rights lawyer who has been working with the Naga tribes and their issue. It was decided that a group would be formed to raise the issue and enlarge and support the movement in the national Capital.

A much bigger movement in the national Capital is being planned comprising of groups from the Northeast States, West Bengal and as well as from other parts of the country. The Joint Action Committee will also be approaching the Indigenous Peoples Forum in the UN soon in context of Indigenous Peoples Right, the press release said.

Meanwhile the relay hunger strike here at the BL House, Tibet Road, will continue until the demand of scrapping of all hydel projects in Dzongu is met.

Various individuals have expressed their solidarity and support for the movement. Veteran journalist and Ex-MP Kuldeep Nayar, senior socialist leader, Surendra Mohan, Manjeet, a lecturer from Kashipur Solidarity Group, Souporna Lahiri, Delhi Solidarity Group, Kanchi Kholi from Kalpavriksh, Vimal Bhai from Matoo Peoples Association, Biju Lal from Indian Social Institute and Ritwick Dutta, Supreme Court Advocate, were present at the dharna with their support.

Yishey D