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‘Majhis’, the boatmen community of Sikkim, whose population is less than 1000 living mostly at the banks of the Teesta and Rangeet rivers in South Sikkim, have also demanded the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status in the state.
The number of communities seeking Scheduled Tribe (ST) status has gone up to 12 in the state including Gurung, Mangar, Rai, Sunwar, Mukhia, Jogi, Thami, Yakha, Bahun, Chettri, Newar and Majhis which was recently added to the list.
According to sources quoted by the Telegraph, “I can’t give you exact numbers offhand, but their population is less than 1000 in Sikkim. They are one member of our society, and have the right to seek justice in the way 11 other communities have been doing,” convener of the Eleven Indigenous Ethnic Communities of Sikkim (EIECOS), Raju Basnet said.
The Chief Minister of Sikkim, PS Golay has also supported the Majhi community and said that his government would do everything to ensure that all the 12 communities get their tribal status.
“The inclusion of the left out communities is one promise in our manifesto and will leave no stone unturned to deliver it… we will work transparently and not make empty promises,” The Telegraph quoted Golay.
(Edited by Laxmi Chyrmang)