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Lepchas to boycott Assembly polls

Lepchas are protesting the alleged step-motherly treatment meted out to them by the Centre and the state government.



Siliguri: Lepchas, a scheduled tribe
community of the Darjeeling hills, would boycott the coming
Assembly elections protesting the alleged step-motherly
treatment meted out to them by the Centre and the state
government.

The leader of an apolitical Lepcha organisation `Lepchas
of Darjeeling`, L S Tamsong Lepcha, today alleged that nearly
one lakh Lepchas residing in the three hill sub-divisions of
Darjeeling were living in an "inhuman" condition and announced
the community would boycott the assembly polls.

"Since Independence the villages they live in have seen
no development," Tamsong said while addressing a gathering of
the community here.

The general secretary of the organisation, Posong
Tshering Lepcha, said that the Census 2011 had put Lepcha
population at around 43,000, but actually their number is
minimum one lakh.

He said that though officially they had been accorded
the status of a scheduled tribe, they had hardly been given
any associated benefit or facility entitled to them.

Besides, neither the state government nor the Centre was
ready to listen to the demand for recognition of the Lepcha
language, though it had a different alphabet and a rich
literature, he said.

PTI

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