ACT asks for review body

Gangtok, July 24: The Affected Citizens of Teesta (ACT) has written to Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling asking for an independent quasi-judicial committee to review all projects including those proposed in the Lepcha reserve of Dzongu.

In the letter, the ACT members thanked the chief minister for his pledge to uphold the sanctity of Dzongu and added that they had always sought an amicable and peaceful solution to the problem.

“Since negotiations with the authorised committee seem to have reached a stalemate, we seek your direct intervention in this matter,” read the letter signed by ACT president Athup Lepcha and other senior members.

The ACT members have demanded that the composition of the committee would have to be agreeable to both sides. They have also demanded that all activities related to the Panan hydel project in Dzongu, including land acquisition, be kept in abeyance.

A meeting between the chief minister and ACT seems likely tomorrow, according to some of the mediators.

The hunger strike led by ACT general secretary Dawa Lepcha and 20-year-old Tenzing Lepcha has entered the 35th day today. The two are continuing their fast at Sir Thutob Namgyal Memorial Hospital where they are admitted. Both are suffering from high fever, headaches and nausea, sources said.

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