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FIGA takes up Gorkha issues with Union Minister Rajnath
On Sunday, a delegation of leaders from Federation of Indian Gorkha Association (FIGA) called on Union Home minister Rajnath Singh at his residence in New Delhi.

The delegation apprised minister Singh on several issues concerning the national identity and security of the Gorkhas.

During the meeting, FIGA members told that the association was formed to take forth the identity issue of the Gorkhas in the country. The team comprised of GSSS president Kiran BK from New Delhi and others. They thanked the minister for the Union government’s recent announcement on the identity of Gorkhas in Assam in the wake of the NRC update in the State, a press release informs.

FIGA convener Anjani Sharma Bhujel presented the national framework and roadmap and a unified struggle of the organization. She said FIGA seeks to give a national representation to the Gorkhas coming forth for national security as well.

Kiran BK maintained that the issue of Gorkhas has so far been viewed as a regional issue even it remain intact at the national level. He requested that it be taken up at the national level for an amicable and democratic resolution at the earliest, it was informed.

Source: Sikkim Express

Phulpati shovayatra at Mungpoo
The hills kicked off the Dashain (Dusshera) festivities with a “Phulpati shovayatra” amid fervour that was missing last year because of the 104-day statehood strike.
This year, 25 associations participated in the shovayatra (rally), a unique custom of the Gorkhas. The members of the community collect flowers, petals, and other offerings from their houses and temples and take them to a puja pandal to pay obeisance to Goddess Durga.
The decorated palanquin carrying the sacred flowers (phul), leaves (pati) and sugarcane tied in red clothes — the colour symbolising the goddess — is usually accompanied by an ornate umbrella. It is believed that people who pass underneath the palanquin are absolved of their sins.
The tradition dates back to the days of King Pritivinarayan Shah (1723-1775) of Nepal when the Phulpati procession used to start from Gorkha, his native place, and end at Kathmandu after covering hundreds of miles.
On Tuesday, the rally started from Darjeeling Motor Stand and wound its way to Chowrasta at a pandal. It was accompanied by traditional dance and music with people from various Gorkha clans showcasing their tradition. Young girls dressed as various Hindu gods rode ponies through the streets.
“Phulpati is not just a religious event for the hill people. Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists took part in today’s (Tuesday) shovayatra,” said Suraj Sharma, a member of the organising committee. (The Telegraph)

Foreigners Tribunal in Barpeta, Assam
LAST WEEK, the Home Ministry issued a communication citing a 1950 treaty between India and Nepal, and stating that Gorkhas living in India cannot be referred to Foreigners Tribunals in Assam. A look at how the treaty allows Nepali citizens to live in India, and how India’s Gorkha citizens, including those in Assam, are distinct from them:

Who are Gorkhas?

Gorkhas (or Gurkhas) are Nepali-origin people who take their name from the 8th-century Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath and from the Nepal hill town of Gorkha. In India, the word is sometimes used to make a distinction between Indian Gorkhas, who are citizens of India, and Nepali citizens who are living in India.

Who, then, are the Indian Gorkhas?

Most of them are descendants of Gorkhas settled in India during British rule. The British Army had raised several Gorkha units in India. After Independence and Partition, six regiments from the British Army’s Brigade of Gurkhas were transferred to the Indian Army under a Tripartite Agreement (1947) among the British, India and Nepal. In a notification issued on August 23, 1988, the Home Ministry clarified that Gorkhas domiciled in India at the the time of commencement of the Constitution, and those born in India, or born to one or both parents born in India, are citizens of India. West Bengal has the highest number of Nepali-speaking citizens, and Sikkim the highest density.

And who are the Nepali citizens living in India?
These are migrants legally living in the country. According to the External Affairs Ministry, nearly 6 million Nepali citizens live and work in India. The Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship (1950) permits, “on a reciprocal basis, the nationals of one country in the territories of the other the same privileges in the matter of residence, ownership of property, participation in trade and commerce, movement and other privileges of a similar nature”.

When did Gorkhas settle in Assam?

The first large flush of Nepali-speaking persons came in the form of soldiers in the Gorkha Corps when the British annexed Assam in 1826. The British raised the Assam Light Infantry which had two Gorkha companies. The Assam Rifles, born as Cachar Levy in 1835, recruited several Gorkhas. Others were brought as workers in sectors and occupations including tea cultivation, laying of railway tracks, oil and coal industries, and as porters, herdsmen or marginal farmers. The apex body Assam Gorkha Sammelan estimates around 20-22 lakh Gorkhas are living in the state.
The first president of the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, Chobilal Upadhyay, was an India-born member of the community. Leaders of the community have also been elected to the Assam Assembly and Parliament, including sitting MP from Tezpur R P Sharma.

What has prompted the Home Ministry to issue a clarification about Gorkhas in Assam now?

At a time when the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated, the All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union made a representation to the ministry about members of the community being referred to Foreigners Tribunals. The ministry cited the Foreigners Act (1946) and the 1950 treaty to state that Gorkhas cannot be referred to these tribunals. rffectively covering both Indian and Nepali citizens. It stated that “any member of the Gorkha community holding Nepalese nationality and who has arrived in India by land or air over the Nepal border even without a passport or visa and staying in India for any length of time” shall not be treated as an illegal migrant if he/she has documents such as a Nepalese passport, Nepalese citizenship certificate, Nepalese voter card and others.
Are the Gorkhas eligible for inclusion in the Assam NRC?
The Indian Gorkhas of Assam are eligible, by virtue of being Indian citizens. The Nepali citizens are not eligible for inclusion, although they are legal migrants and the 1950 treaty protects them from referral to a Foreigners Tribunal.

How many have been excluded or referred?

Assam Gorkha Sammelan general secretary Kishore Upadhyay, also an Assam BJP secretary, says around 1.5 lakh applicants of the community have been excluded from the NRC, out of whom around 50,000 are doubtful voters or ‘D’ voters (a category introduced in the electoral rolls of Assam in 1997 for people served a notice by Foreigners Tribunals). A ‘D’ voter is automatically left out of the NRC until his/her name gets cleared. Nepali citizens are not eligible for voting, and this was the ground on which Election Commission had marked several Nepali-speaking people as ‘D’ voters. Gorkha organisations, however, allege that the process of marking ‘D’ voters was arbitrary.
A prominent example is retired defence personnel Bir Bahadur Thapa, 57, of Morigaon district, who told The Indian Express: “I had submitted all documents, including my Army documents, yet my name has been excluded from NRC final draft.” Thapa and seven other individuals of various communities have moved the Supreme Court, which has issued notice to the Centre, the state, the Registrar General and the NRC state coordinator.

What is the Indian Gorkhas’ stand on Nepali citizens in India?

In the Darjeeling Hills, leaders of the Gorkhaland agitation for statehood have been protesting against the 1950 Treaty, particularly Clause 7 that allows citizens of the two countries to live without hindrance in either country. Their stand was that Indian Nepalis too are mistakenly identified as foreigners.
In Assam, All Assam Gorkha Students’ Union president Prem Tamang said: “Because of the treaty, Gorkha people living in India from the early 1900s are being compared with Nepal-origin people who came to India recently. We believe that in Assam the cutoff should be 1971, irrespective of the treaty,” he said. All Assam Students’ Union adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya too opposed the treaty and stressed the distinction between Assam’s Gorkhas and Nepali citizens. “The Gorkha people settled in Assam for ages are part of Assamese society and culture,” he said.

Durga Puja in Darjeeling Hills
Pujas in the Hills may lack the grandeur of the pandals and lights of those organised in the plains, but some of them held at places like the Nipendra Narayan Bengali Hindu Hall (NNBHH) in Darjeeling town surely bring out the tradition and the rich heritage that surround such pujas being organised here since the British era.
This year, the main highlight of the puja in the Queen of Hills will be the 104-year-old tradition that is not only popular among the Bengali community, but also the different other communities that live here in harmony.
“The puja will be 104 years this year, with the idol brought from Kumartuli in Siliguri, while the dhak players are coming in from Malda. The puja will officially be inaugurated tomorrow by the GTA chairman and the Darjeeling district magistrate,” said Pratapaditya Guha, the secretary of the NNBHH.
The Hall was built way back in 1890 and had been made as a recreational place mostly for the Bengali community with funds for the hall’s operations being collected in that era from the Cooch Behar Raja, Burdwan Maharaja and many other zamindars.
In fact, NNBH hall members also maintain that in the distant past, the idol was brought halfway by boat and by the Toy Train from the plains. In between, instead of the idol being brought from outside, the puja was done here with the idol in the temple itself, while later on again, the idols were brought from outside, hall members say.
If the puja has a long history, the immersion of the idol also has an interesting story surrounding it.
Earlier, the idol was carried all the way to a distance of three kilometre on foot to the Burdwan Palace, where the king there presented a gold coin to the deity. Only after that, the ‘bisarjan’ would take place, with the idol carried for another one kilometre.

Sikkim Boys Vs North Bengal Armed Police Mungpoo Gold Cup
मङपु गोल्ड कपको आजको म्याच आर्म पुलिस सिलिगुडीको घमासान भिडन्त सिक्किम बोइससित भयो | दुवै दलको बराबरीको टक्करमा खेल शुरु भएको ४१ मिनट बित्दा सिक्किम बोइसको पक्षमा ११ नम्बर जर्सीधारी सोनाम निमा लेप्चाको किकले आर्म पुलिसको गोल रक्षक तोडेपछि खेल अझै रोचक बनेर गयो | आर्म पुलिसको टीमले पनि लगातार कोशिश जारी नै राखेपनि सुलाइ हाल्न हम्मेहम्मे पर्यो भने अन्तमा ५० मिनट बित्दा ८ नम्बर जर्सीधारी राज रावतको गोलले खेल बराबरीमा पुरायो भने दुवै दलको कडा प्रयास रहँदा पनि गोल थप्न भने सकेन जसले गर्दा अन्तमा ट्राइ बेकरद्वारा खेलको निर्णय दिन पर्यो जसमा सिक्किम बोइस विनर बन्यो भने आर्म पुलिस बाँकी खेलदेखि बाहिरिनु पर्यो | खेल अवधि आर्म पुलिसका ११ नम्बरी जर्सीधारी सुजन थापालाई रातो कार्ड देखाइयो भने मङपु गोल्ड कपको बाँकी म्याचहरुमा २६ अक्टोबरको दिन नाइट चेस नेपालको भिडन्त मुनाल एफसीसित हुनेछ भने २७ अक्टोबरमा अमुक्त परिवार ३/९ आर्मी बागडोगरासित जुझ्नेछ | यसरी नै २८ अक्टोबरमा युनाइटेड ब्रदर्श कालेबुङ युनाइटेड सिक्किम सित अनि २९ अक्टोबरमा बिर्तामोड एफसीको भिडन्त सिक्किम बोइससित हुनेछ || 

JAP seek chance for Gorkhaland said Harka Bahadur chhetri
मङपु, १४ अक्टोबर, राजेश थापा:  एक समय गोजमुमोमा हुँदा इन्द्रेको बाउ चन्द्रे आए पनि गोर्खाल्याण्ड हुँदैन भन्ने जन आन्दोलन पार्टी अध्यक्ष डा० हर्क बहादुर छेत्रीले पुन: पहाडको समस्त जनताले गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति एकपल्ट जन आन्दोलन पार्टीलाई मौका दिएर हेरोस जनताले पछताउन परेछ भने कान काटेर फ्याँकी दिन्छु भनेका छन् | तिनले आज मङपुमा आयोजित जापको पथ सभालाई सम्बोधन गर्दै यसो भनेका हुन् | आज गोर्खाल्याण्डको माग उठाउने कुनै गोर्खा पार्टी छैन, गोरामुमो छैटौं अनुसुचिको पछाडी छन्, गोजमुमो एक नम्बर भन्नेहरु ११ जनजातिको पछि छन्, बिनय पन्थीहरु विकाशको कुरामा छन्, हामी मात्रै गोर्खाल्याण्ड भन्ने ग्रुप हो | हामी २०१६ देखि दिल्लीमा गएर गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति काम गरिरहेका छौँ | बुझाउन जान्यो भने बुझ्दो रैछ त, ठिक समयमा आवाज उठाउन सक्यो भने हुँदो रैछ हरेक कुरा | कालेबुंगलाई जिल्ला बनाउनपर्छ भन्दा कसैले पनि पत्याउदैन थियो | बनाएर देखाई दियौं त | बिमल गुरुङलाई पनि बीजेपीले २०१९ को चुनावको निम्ति मात्र जनजातिको कुरा गर्दै खेलाउंदैछ, जस्तो चुनाव सकिन्छ दुध बाट झिंगा निकालेको जस्तो निकाल्छ | तर जनजाति कहिले पनि राजनैतिक पार्टीले मागेर हुने कुरा होइन | हर्क बहादुरले पहिले पनि एकपल्टमा गोर्खाल्याण्ड हुँदैन भनेको हो अहिले पनि त्यही भन्छ | मैले एक पल्टमा गोर्खाल्याण्ड ल्यायो भने टीस्टाको पुलबाट हाम फाल्छु पनि भनेको थिए, ल्याएर देखाऊ एकपल्टमा, हाम पनि फाल्छु | हरेक कुरालाई ठिक समय र ठिक ठाउँमा उठाउन सके असम्भव छैन, कालेबुंग जिल्ला हुनलाई भुटानलाई सोध्नपर्छ भन्थे तर ठिक समयमा ठिक कुरा उठाउँदा जिल्ला गठन भएको हो भन्दै डा० छेत्रीले आगमी २०१९ को चुनावमा जन आन्दोलन पार्टीलाई एक मौका दिने अपिल गरेका छन् | छेत्रीले पटक पटक बिमल भाईको माया लाग्छ, बिमल त ब्ल्याक बोर्ड जस्तो हो पहिले हामीले राम्रो कुरा सिकाई राख्थ्यौं तर तिनको पुछारेहरुले फेरि उल्टै कुरा सिकाइ हाल्थ्यो भन्दै गुरुङ माथि अस्पष्ट सहानुभूति पनि देखाए |

सभालाई सम्बोधन गर्दै जाप ब्युरो सदस्य अमर लामाले मङपुमा हुने सभामा स्थानीय मोर्चा नेताहरुले जापको सभामा नजाउ, तिमीहरुको गाउँको बाटो बनिन्दैन भन्दै रोकेको बताउँदै मोर्चा २ का अध्यक्ष स्वय बिनय तामांग दिल्लीमा पार्टीको स्थापना दिवस मनाउन नपाउँदा दिल्लीमा गणतन्त्र नभएको बताएका थिए भने तर आज तिनकै अनुयायीहरुले चै हर्क बहादुरको भाषण सुन्न नदिनु कस्तो गणतन्त्र हो भन्दै मोर्चामाथि बर्सिनु बर्से | तिनले चेतावनी दिँदै जुन पार्टीले अरुको भाषण सुन्न दिदैंन त्यो पार्टीको पतन चाडो हुन्छ भने | यसरी नहुँदो काम गर्नु भन्दा सिन्कोनामा बन्द रहेको बद्ली काम र पदोन्नतिको विषयमा आवाज उठाउने मोर्चाका स्थानीय नेताहरुलाई सुझाव पनि दिएका छन् | लामाले चिया बगानको बोनसको कुरा झिक्दै मालिक पक्षसंग वार्तामा बस्दा मोर्चा युनियनका नेताले नै हतार हतार हामी १५ % मा नै राजी छौँ भनेको खुलासा गरेका छन् भने यो घटना बुझ्दा मोर्चा पहिलेबाटै मिलिभगतमा काम गरेको आरोप पनि लगाएका छन् |
सभामा जाप युवा एकाई केन्द्रीय समितिका प्रशान्त राई, महासचिव भुपेन्द्र राई, पार्टी ब्युरो सदस्य युसुफ सिमिक, चेली एकाइ प्रमुख प्रतिभा कुमाई, पार्टी महासचिव नयन प्रकाश प्रधान आदिले पनि सम्बोधन गरेका थिए भने सबैले गोर्खाल्याण्डको निम्ति जापलाई एक पल्ट मौका दिने अपिल गरेका थिए | यसको साथै युएपीए धारा बिमल गुरुङलाई मात्र होइन, बिनय अनित सबैलाई लागेको हो र बिमल माथि अन्याय भएको छ, हाम्रो सिधान्त केही नमिले पनि बिमल गुरुङ पनि गोर्खा नै हो र गोर्खामाथि अनयाय भएको हामी सहदैनौ भन्दै जापलाई मौका दिए बिमल पनि बाँच्ने कुराहरु बताए |
जापको समर्थकहरु नभएको मङपुमा यो पार्टीको पहिलो सभा हो जुन सभालाई युवा एकाई प्रवक्ता नरेश कुमार राईले संचालन गरेका थिए भने जगत राईले स्वागत सम्भाषण राखेका थिए | सभामा जाप पार्टीका ब्युरो सदस्य नोर्देन पेम्बा हिस्से, नवराज गुरुङ आदि पनि बिशेष रुपले उपस्थित रहेका थिए भने मङपुबाट जाप समर्थकहरु मुख्य रुपले सुकबीर लेप्चा, अनुप छेत्री र प्रभाकर लेप्चा रहेको जानकारी प्राप्त भएको छ ||

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