GNLF seeks Shah meet for Sixth Schedule appeal

GNLF seeks Shah meet for Sixth Schedule appeal
Demanding the Sixth Schedule status for Gorkhas in the Hills, leaders of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) have “desperately” proposed that Darjeeling MP Raju Bista fix an appointment with Union home minister Amit Shah so that they can interact with him on issues related to the National Population Register (NPR), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
According to GNLF spokesperson Mahendra Chhetri, they have, however, not yet received any information of such an appointment with Mr Shah, despite requests made to Mr Bista. “We want to appeal to Amit Shah to protect the Gorkhas as indigenous people by including Darjeeling Hills in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Our logic is that when non-Muslim people coming from three countries–Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan- -are being given citizenship through the CAA, why did the government not consider other countries like Tibet, Burma, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and even Sri Lanka?” Mr Chhetri said today.
“After studying the CAA, NPR and then the NRC, we have come to a conclusion that the NPR is the first step to executing the NRC. The present system of execution of the NPR is different from the system that was there 10 years ago. Six new points have been added to the 15 points. Now, an enumerator will ask a total of 21 points, including one’s parents’ place and date of birth. How can a tea garden worker, with poor level of education, show all such documents?” Mr Chhetri said.

He added that BJP leaders are verbally saying that parents’ place of birth and date of birth are not mandatory. “If it is not mandatory, there should be a written order on the same,” he said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee raised the same points here on 20 January, during the inauguration of the Uttar Banga Utsav, and urged chief ministers of other states, including BJP-led ones in the Northeast, to rethink on their stand, as it was discussed in a meeting in Delhi that the parents’ date and place of birth were not compulsory in the NPR.
The CM also pointed out that she would continue her protests until the Centre officially deleted the column in the NPR meant for the same. Notably, a section of the Hill people, including the GNLF leadership, is now talking of the issue on the lines of Miss Banerjee, after she campaigned against the CAA, NPR and NRC on 22 January in the Hills.
As a result, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh recently alleged in Siliguri that the Trinamul Congress had been confusing the people. “People, who believe in the Trinamul Congress, are confused over their citizenship and they have suffered,” Mr Ghosh said, adding, “1.25 crore Gorkhas in India are safe.”
Notably, following Mr Ghosh’s another statement–“People who have come from Nepal and settled in India are Indians,” Darjeeling’s BJP MLA Neeraj Zimba, who was originally a GNLF leader, posted a doctored photo of Dilip Ghosh in his Facebook page, with the caption “Mind your Lip Dilip.”
According to political observers, who are also close to Miss Banerjee, some people who have come from Tibet, Bhutan, Burma, Myanmar and Nepal and settled down in Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Dooars and other areas since many days would also face problems when it comes to showing their past records that will establish them as of “Indian origin.”

https://www.thestatesman.com
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Demanding the Sixth Schedule status for Gorkhas in the Hills, leaders of the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF) have “desperately” proposed that Darjeeling MP Raju Bista fix an appointment with Union home minister Amit Shah

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