Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Saturday announced suspension of an employee responsible for showing Sikkim as an 'independent nation,' but the map row escalated: the Sikkim government has now written to the Delhi Chief Secretary objecting to the state being referred to as an independent country in one of the Delhi government advertisements, calling it "hurtful".
In a letter to Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Kumar Dev, his counterpart in Sikkim S.C. Gupta said: "In the recent newspaper advertisement of Delhi government for enrolment of volunteers of Civil Defence Corps, Sikkim has been clubbed with Bhutan and Nepal as a separate country. This is immensely hurtful to the people of Sikkim who take pride in being the citizens of our great country, ever since it became 22nd state of the Indian Union on May 16, 1975."
Gupta demanded that the Kejriwal government withdraw the controversial and erroneous advertisement and also issue a "suitable communique to assuage the feelings of the people of Sikkim".
Meanwhile, Baijal tweeted: "A senior officer of Directorate of Civil Defence (HQ) has been suspended with immediate effect for publishing an advertisement which disrespects the territorial integrity of India by making incorrect reference to Sikkim on the same lines as some neighbouring countries".
He added that direction has been given to withdraw the "offensive advertisement".
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also tweeted, saying such errors cannot be tolerated.
"Sikkim is an integral part of India. Such errors cannot be tolerated. The advertisement has been withdrawn and action taken against the officer concerned," Kejriwal said.
Earlier, Delhi BJP Chief Manoj Tiwari lashed out at Kejriwal for "showing Sikkim as an independent nation".