In a major relief for the people of Sikkim, the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) is likely to deny permission to scale the ‘sacred peaks’ of Kanchenjunga.
The governing council of the apex mountaineering authority at a meeting on August 25th, 2019 has taken a decision not to issue any permit for mountaineering expeditions and trekking at the peaks in Sikkim which are under the category of ‘sacred peaks‘, including the 8,589 meter-high Kanchenjunga.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on August 21st, 2019 opened 137 Himalayan peaks for foreigners, including the Kanchenjunga in Sikkim, for mountaineering expeditions and trekking.
As discontentment is brewing in the state, Sikkim Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang has also dashed off to the MHA demanding de-listing of 14 scared peaks in the state. Tamang is likely to call on the Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the matter.
Former Indian footballer and leader of Hamro Sikkim Party, Bhaichung Bhutia met Union Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju at his office on August 23rd, 2019 to request him not to open Mt Kanchenjunga and other peaks of Sikkim for mountaineering expedition since it has religious sentiments of people of Sikkim and it’s protected and worshipped as a deity.
The Sikkim unit of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) on August 23rd, 2019 opposing the Centre’s decision to allow expeditions to Mount Kanchenjunga, said that the decision of opening Kanchenjunga for climbers is a blatant disregard to the will of the Sikkimese people.
The Sikkim VHP Spokesperson, Adhikari demanded the Sikkim Government to immediately apprise the Centre and have the offending circular cancelled immediately as none of the Sikkimese people was consulted before it was issued.
Photo: Prakash Adhikari