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30 Jan 2017

CHRISTIANS DEMAND SEPARATE WELFARE BOARD

SNS, Siliguri 29 January: A few days after Paharia Muslim Welfare Society (PMWS) decided to boycott the minority welfare board demanding a separate board, the Darjeeling district-based All Christian Minority Association (ACMA) is singing the same tune.
ACMA is also demanding a separate Christian welfare development board for them just to avoid any confrontation with other Minority groups. A group of religious leaders associated with ACMA is planning to meet chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata shortly to put forward their demand of a separate board just for them, said ACMAs coordinator Jotima Subba.
The PMWS members, who were demanding a separate development board for them since many days,decided to boycott the Paharia Minority Development Board comprising Muslim, Christian, Bengali and Bihari in the Hills.
The Muslim welfare society members raised their voices within 24 hours after the chief minister had announced a development board for them in Kurseong on 22 January.
They decided to boycott it if the state does not consider a separate board for the Muslims alone.
However, Subba said nearly 90 per cent people associated with apex body ACMA have been demanding a separate development board.
However, Subba did not divulge any information related to the appointment with the chief Minister.
But she said the state government had not discussed about announcing such minority board comprising other groups.
We are hopeful that the chief minister will constitute a separate development board for Christians under the minority commission," she said.
More than 3.5 lakh Christians live in Darjeeling district, sources from ACMA said.

KalimNews: ACMA during a press conference held in Siliguri Journalists Club expressed its is gratitude to the Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee for announcing a development board for the development and safeguard of minority communities. But keeping in view of the harmony and brotherhood that exists among all especially with other minority communities it will be beneficial to create a separate welfare board for christians, stated Roshan D. Lama its newly elected General Secretary. He also stated that it is hopeful that a separate christian board will be announced by the government  very shortly.  
A.K.Rai spokesperson of All Christian Minority Association an apex body comprising of more than seven christian minority organisations covering all parts of the district stated that ACMA includes all Catholic and Non catholic christian denominations. Its Patrons are Bishop Stephen Lepcha (R.C.), Bishop Peter.Blen Tsh.Lepcha (Diocese of Himalayan Pentecoastal churches), Rev. Samuel Lepcha (CNI) and Rev. J.P.Lepcha (UCNI). 
A press release states that ACMA constitutes of organisations like Darjeeling United Christian Minority Society (DUCMS), Darjeeling; United Christian Minority Society (UCMS), Kalimpong; All Christian Hill Minority Association (ACHMA); ;Himalayan Pentecostal Church Diocese (HPCD) ; Kurseong United Christian Minority Welfare Society (KUCMWS); All Terai Christian Minority Association (ATCMA); Terai Christian Minority Welfare Society (TCMWS) and beside these smaller groups are also joining it. 
The committee is reconstituted and elected Jyotima Subba as President, Ps. Sakom Lepcha, Ps. Kewal Tamang, Deepak Lepcha, Tarun Rai as Vice Presidents and Roshan D. Lama as General Secretary. The Assistatnt secretaries are :Atendra Subba, Ps. Santosh Chhetri, Ps. Ramesh Gurung, Deacon Binod Rai, Ps. Sunam Kabo and Treasurer is P.B.Rai and Asst. Treasurer is Ps. Rabin Tamang.

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