SIKKIM NEWS: Tibetan refugees off voter list

SIKKIM NEWS: Tibetan refugees off voter list – nothing to do with Buddhist demonstrations earlier ?!!

A Buddhist Monk votes in Kalimpong during the LS elections in April 2009 - Tibetan Refugee or naturalized Indian Citizen ?!! (Himal News Files)


Gangtok, Sept. 29: A total of 5,899 names including those of 55 Tibetan refugees in Sikkim have been deleted from the electoral rolls of the state in the past five months during the summary revision process, state chief electoral officer V.B. Pathak said here today.

Briefing the media about the revised electoral rolls, Pathak said the names were deleted by the district electoral officers on grounds of death, migration and duplication.

Altogether 3,817 names were struck off the rolls as the persons were dead and 1,613 names were deleted because the voters have shifted, or transferred their names to other parts of the country, he said.

The remaining 469 names were deleted because they appeared twice. This list also includes the names of the 55 Tibetan refugees.

Most of the names that were deleted on account of deaths and migration were done suo-motu by the election department.

The rest were deleted following objections from the public and subsequent inquiries conducted by the department.

Pathak added that the 55 Tibetan refugees, whose names were deleted as they are not supposed to enrol themselves on the Indian electoral list, were from the East and North districts.

While the administration stumbled across the names of 44 Tibetan refugee certificate holders in North district, 11 names were spotted during the revision in East.

“They have been warned and other government agencies concerned with Tibetan refugees have been informed about the development. They will be initiating necessary action,” said Pathak.

According to the revised rolls, the total number of voters in Sikkim currently stand at 3,10,629. This means an increase of 10,464 voters (3.49 per cent) after 3,00,165 people participated in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls in Sikkim last year.

The chief electoral officer attributed the increase to the increase in the number of people who have reached the age of 18 and also inclusion of those who were left out during the earlier revision of rolls.

The summary revision process ended on September 15 and the draft electoral rolls will be soon published, said Pathak.

He also said the election department has achieved 100 per cent Electoral Photo Identity Card coverage in Sikkim.

“We are also holding a photo exhibition on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti at Gangtok in collaboration with the directorate of advertising and visual publicity, ministry of broadcasting, as part of the year long diamond jubilee celebration of the Election Commission of India,” said Pathak.

The exhibition will showcase 60 photos prepared by the directorate on national events and related to state elections, he said.


One Response to “SIKKIM NEWS: Tibetan refugees off voter list”

  1. Sanjeev Thapa Says:

    Sikkim State Chief Electrol Officer Shri V. B. Pathak has done a commendable job.

    Such scrutiny should also be done for Nepal citizens who regularly enter and settle in Sikkim and West Bengal. Efforts should also be extended to West Bengal where there is extensive incursion of Bangladeshi nationals. In fact half of the voters’ list in West Bengal are bangladeshi refugees.

    It is unfortunate to see that now Tibetans are refugees in their own place.

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