Log Out

Advertisement

Exempt hills: Gorkha body

Morcha stage a dharna in front of the district magistrate’s office to protest the Citizenship bill and the proposed NRC

By Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling

  • Published 13.12.19, 3:41 AM
  • Updated 13.12.19, 3:41 AM
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Binay Tamang camp had also raised a similar demand
Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Binay Tamang camp had also raised a similar demand Telegraph file picture

The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, an apolitical organisation espousing the cause of Gorkhas, has requested the Centre “with a sense of urgency” to exempt the Darjeeling hills, Terai and the Dooars from the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha’s Binay Tamang camp had also raised a similar demand.

Munish Tamang, the working president of the BGP, in a letter to Darjeeling BJP MP Raju Bista has said: “I am writing to you in the context of CAB not being extended to the Sixth Schedule Areas and areas that are governed by Inner Line Permit (ILP).”

“The argument behind this exemption (in ILP and Sixth Schedule areas) is that these areas belong to vulnerable communities whose language and culture might be completely overrun by the large scale influx or settlement of outsiders, particularly those from Bangladesh,” Munish has stated.

Raising concerns, which are similar to those of the CAB protesters in Assam, Munish said: “Our areas have also witnessed large demographic changes that are well documented. Geographically, too, we are vulnerable to large scale influx from Bangladesh.”

“Already, we are culturally and linguistically marginalised,” reads the letter sent on Wednesday night.

Citing historical and cultural affinity to the areas exempted from the CAB, the BGP requested Bista “to immediately seek similar measures as have been made available to Sixth Schedule and ILP areas such that the provisions of CAB will not be extended to our areas.”

Tamang said such a move “will ensure that the cultural and linguistic identity of the Hills, Terai, and Dooars is protected and the people of these areas feel safe”.

The Tamang camp of the Morcha staged a dharna in front of the district magistrate’s office here for the second day on Thursday to protest the CAB and the proposed National Register of Citizen exercise.

Sources said the Morcha was likely to hold a meeting at Sukna on December 15 to chart its further course of action.

The party has lined up a series of movements.

Advertisement