One lakh Assam Gorkhas out of NRC: Forum

One lakh Assam Gorkhas out of NRC - Forum
An apolitical association of the Gorkhas said on Saturday that “around a lakh” community members living in Assam have been excluded from the final National Register of Citizens.
The claim is likely to have political ramifications beyond the northeastern state and churn political equations in the Darjeeling hills and surrounding areas of north Bengal that have the highest density of Gorkhas.
According to Nityananda Upadhyay, president of the Assam state committee of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha, around two-and-a-half million Gorkhas reside in Assam. The exclusion of over one lakh — around 4 per cent of the total — from the NRC has come as a shock to the Parisangha.
“As of now, it seems the number of individuals (Gorkhas) who do not have their names is around one lakh. However, we are waiting for the final data to reach us in two to three days,” said Upadhyay. The final NRC published on Saturday does not have names of over 19 lakh people residing in Assam. 

Upadhyay did not explain how the association arrived at the exclusion figure of 1 lakh Gorkhas. “This is an estimate based on the reports that we are getting from the ground,” he said.
Other representatives of the Parisangha — an apolitical, social organisation that enjoys the support of most prominent Gorkha leaders — said they would engage their legal teams to take up in foreigners’ tribunals cases of those whose names have not featured in the NRC.
Nanda Kirati Dewan, the national secretary (youth affairs) of the Parisangha, said the association would soon take up such cases with the foreigners’ tribunals.
The Parisangha will also spread the message so that those excluded from the NRC get in touch with the organisation and its representatives to approach foreigners’ tribunals.
Other members of the Parisangha recalled it was almost a century ago that the Gorkhas started settling to Assam — especially after the British came to India — where they were engaged as soldiers or workers in the tea industry.
The ripples of the NRC will be felt in the Darjeeling Hills and other Gorkha-dominated areas in north Bengal, said several political observers. The NRC pot has been boiling in these parts of Bengal since the draft list was published last year.
Amid questions on what will happen to the Gorkhas, the BJP leaders had put a brave face and had assured that names of Gorkhas will be there in the list while the Binay Tamang faction of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha and Trinamul were critical of the BJP for playing divisive card for narrow political gains.
“BJP leaders, including the new MP of Darjeeling Raju Bista, have time and again mentioned that Gorkhas should not panic. But given the estimate rolled out by the Parisangha, it is clear that the reality is something else. It would be interesting to see how BJP handles the situation here,” said an observer.
The party has managed to secure the support of Gorkhas in Darjeeling and neighbouring areas at the Parliament elections for the third time in a row. The fact that the majority of Gorkhas sided with the BJP became clear as the party won seven out of the 8 Lok Sabha seats in North Bengal.
“If a number of Gorkhas are excluded from NRC, it would obviously put the BJP in an awkward situation. Also, a number of other parties like Trinamul and the Binay Tamang lobby of Morcha will spare no time in picking up the issue,” the observer added.
Tamang, who was earlier critical at BJP on the NRC issue, said they are collecting details from Assam.
“We are in the process of collecting information about the final draft… Once we have the details, we will assert our stand and further plans,” said Tamang.

https://www.telegraphindia.com
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An apolitical association of the Gorkhas said on Saturday that “around a lakh” community members living in Assam have been excluded from the final National Register of Citizens. The claim is likely to have political ramifications beyond the northeastern state and churn political equations in the Darjeeling hills and surrounding areas of north Bengal that have the highest density of Gorkhas.

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