New Delhi/Gangtok: Hamro Sikkim Party, recently formed by footballer-turned-politician Bhaichung Bhutia and other 'progressive' leaders of Sikkim, has condemned and denounced “the repression unleashed by the Pawan Chamling government on the spiritual congregation named Heavenly Path Organisation”.

Biraj Adhikari, chief spokesperson, Hamro Sikkim Party, told MyNation over the phone from Gangtok this morning that for the last 25 years, this government has created a claustrophobic atmosphere of intolerance and authoritarianism in the state. Fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India are being trampled every day in Sikkim.

In the case of Heavenly Path, the same highhandedness is being observed by open violation of the freedom of religion. Right to practice beliefs and promote the teachings of spiritual guides is a core feature of India’s multi-religious and multi-cultural society and the Chamling government’s obstruction in this regard is illegal, unconstitutional and against the interest of the nation, he added. 

Adhikari alleged that reportedly, for years the followers of Heavenly Path have not been allowed to bring their spiritual guide Swami Om Nanda to the state of Sikkim and they are being politically victimised, threatened, harassed and mentally tortured to give up practising the philosophies and teachings of their religious beacon.

He added that Hamro Sikkim Party expresses solidarity to and extends support for the ongoing peaceful protest through hunger strike at Gangtok by members of Heavenly Path Organisation to highlight their demand of permitting their spiritual guide to visit Sikkim and their being able to practice their religious beliefs without any restraint from the government.

Adhikari said that we call upon the government to meet the Heavenly Path Organisation members, who are on hunger strike braving battering rain and cold windy weather since February 25 and take immediate and constructive steps to redress their grievances so that democracy and the Constitution prevail in Sikkim.

Heavenly Path Organisation claims it represents all faiths and that it is not a representative of any one religion in particular. However, they call their leader "God Angel", which creates an impression they are Christians. At the same time, the members of the group mostly bear Hindu names.

The organisation is accused of forceful or induced conversion, which it denies vehemently.