• Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Gorkhas seeks political rights and indigenous status in Assam

ByRajib Dutta

Feb 6, 2023 #Dibrugarh
Gorkhas have sought ten Gorkha populated Assembly seats and one Parliamentary seat of Tezpur to be reserved for the Gorkhas during the ongoing delimitation process so that the community can enjoy socio-political rights enshrined in the constitution. At the 6th Trinnenial Conference of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP), Assam State Committee at Anusuchitjati Nepali Janjati Uccha Madhyamik Bidyalay at Ouguri Teok in Jorhat, the frontline Gorkha organisation adopted several resolutions aiming at seeking indigenous status including land and political rights.
Nanda Kirati Dewan, spokesperson of the Parisangh stated, ‘ Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP) Assam State Committee released ‘Teok Ouguri Declaration’ which categorically states that the Government of Assam should recommend to reserve atleast 10 (Ten) Gorkha populated Assembly Constituencies and 1 (One) Parliamentary constituency of Tezpur for the Gorkhas during the ongoing delimitation process initiated by the Delimitation Commission of India (DCI) and the Election Commission of India (ECI) so the the benefits of socio political rights of any bonafide Indian citizens enshrined in the constitution are extended to the indigenous Gorkha community of Assam.
It further says to reinstate land rights of the Gorkhas in line with the other indigenous communities in the BTR, Sixth Schedule Areas, Tirap Jagun and Balipara Tribal Belt and Blocks of Assam.
“The Parisangh also sought intervention of Government of Assam to withheld extension of BTR during the ongoing implementation of BTR Accord till land rights of the Gorkhas are ensured in the present Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and Government of Assam should have sought public opinion from the areas notified to be included before inclusion into BTR,” said Prakash Dahal, Assam State Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh President while presiding the open session on Sunday. ‘It should be done on priority basis and ensure land rights to the Gorkhas like other indigenous communities since our demand for gazzeted notification about the Gorkha community are Indigenous is at Government’s court’, Dahal stressed.
Bimal Pradhan, outgoing General Secretary of BGP Assam stated that all 13 indigenous tribes including Limboos and Tamangs who are recognised as ST in Sikkim and West Bengal of the Gorkha community should be recognised as Scheduled Tribe in both state and central list. Government of Assam should sent recommendation to the Registrar General of India (RGI) with Ethnographic Report through the Tribal Research Institute (TRI), Assam so  the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA), Government of India and the ST SC Commission of India can make early consideration of granting ST status.
Assam Nepali Sahitya Sabha, President of the Gorkha literary body in Assam sahitya akademi awardee Durga Khatiwada, Assam Gorkha Sammelan, General Secretary Joy Sutar, National Working President Nityananda Upadhyay senior advocate of the Gauhati High Court, National Vice President and BGP Observer of Western India Yam Prasad Ghimire and North East Zone Gen Secy Lakpa Lama graced the open session as the Guest of Honour. MLA Mariani Rupjyoti Kurmi was the Government of Assam representative who addressed the open session as the Special Guest of Honour and informed the public that he would take up the matters of BGP’s Teok Ouguri Declaration to the Assembly and appraise Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma for his kind intervention.

The delegate session held on Saturday in attendance of 16 district units and 3 divisional units of BTR, Karbianglong and Dima Hasao unanimously elected Amar Adhikari from Guwahati as President and senior community journalist Nanda Kirati Dewan from Golaghat as General Secretary for 2023-2026 silver jubilee year session.

The delegate session also adopted resolution to extend unconditional solidarity with the indigenous people of Sikkim against Supreme Court of India’s remarks calling indigenous Nepali speaking Gorkhas of Sikkim as Sikkimese of Nepali origin. The house also resolved to write Gorkha in both language and community column in forthcoming census since Gorkha Bhasa equally implies Nepali language too in the gazetted notification of scheduled languages.

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