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New committee head to examine ST status to 11 Gorkha communities

Binoy Tamang, Roshan Giri, Anit Thapa with minister Jual Oram
The ministry of tribal affairs has appointed Vishu Maini, the deputy director general in the ministry, as the new head of the committee that will examine the demand to grant ST status to 11 Gorkha communities in the hills.
The appointment came as a relief for the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha as an RTI query had revealed that the committee had failed to sit for even a single meeting since its formation in April this year.
The RTI reply made public by the GNLF also showed that Ashok Pai, who had headed the panel, had been transferred from the tribal affairs ministry to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes.
Swaraj Thapa, a member of the Morcha's Study Forum, today said: "The ministry has decided to appoint Mrs Vishu Maini, deputy director general of the ministry of tribal affairs, as chairperson of the committee. The transfer of Ashok Pai was a routine administrative matter. Our job is to ensure that the committee completes it work as early as possible."
He also furnished a copy of the order.
Granting of tribal status to Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunuwar, Thami, Yakka (Dewan) and Dhimal has been long-standing demand in the hills. As that deadline has already expired,
"The demand is moving in the right direction. The state government has also recommended ST status for 11 communities and it has done its job. We are confident if everything goes in the right direction, the demand will be fulfilled in a year. But we appeal to all not to politicise the matter. It seems some political parties, which did nothing concrete during their stint in power, is now working in such a manner as to deny ST status to the 11 communities," said D.K. Pradhan, a Study Forum member of the Morcha.(TT)

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