Gorkhas will not go to FTs to prove citizenship: BGP

GUWAHATI: The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha (BGP) has asserted that Gorkhas excluded from the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam would not appeal before the foreigners tribunals to prove their citizenship.
“Gorkhas of Assam will not go to the foreigners’ tribunals (FTs) to prove their citizenship. To be tried in the FTs is an insult to the people of the community who are Indian citizens and we can file a defamation case against the system for challenging the citizenship of Gorkhas and Nepali-speaking population by taking them to FTs,” BGP national president, Sukhman Moktan told reporters on Sunday.
The BGP is the only registered national organisation of Indian Gorkhas, representing 10.5 million Gorkhas with 22 states units and five zones including the North East zone.
A national delegation of the Parisangha concluded a week-long tour of Assam on Sunday, during which it met people from the community who have been excluded from the NRC. The tour started from Nagaon, Sonitpur, Biswanath, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Majuli, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong Hojai, Morigaon and Kamrup districts besides Guwahati.
The delegation led by the national president comprised secretary general, Nirmal Kumar Pun, national vice president Yam Prasad Ghimire, Bharatiya Gorkha Mahila Parisangha president, Poonam Subba and progamme secretary, Mamta Lama and national executive member, Balram Thapa.
“During the week-long tour, we met people excluded from NRC and arbitrarily marked D-voters and their descendents whose citizenship is challenged and are being directed to go to the FTs as per NRC guidelines even as a recent notification from the ministry of home affairs exempting Gorkhas from going to the FTs,” Moktan said.
“This is an attempt of a few with vested interests within the system to disrespect Indian Gorkhas who are actually original inhabitants as is proved by our historically and mythologically recorded presence since centuries,” he said.
Asked whether BGP would take the state government to the Gauhati High Court for delay in filing fresh writ petition to uphold the MHA notification, Nityananda Upadhyay, president, BGP (Assam state) said, “We are one of the parties to the NRC case in the Supreme Court. If the government of Assam doesn’t do its duty as directed by the Centre, BGP will take the matter to the apex court and make state government party to it and contest the case to ensure Gorkhas are not taken to the FTs as if Gorkhas originated in Specified Territory of Assam Accord.”
National secretary of BGP, Nanda Kirati Dewan said that the Parisangha had suggested to the state government to form an empowered committee to dispose of NRC-excluded cases.
The Gauhati High Court had directed the government of Assam represented by Commissioner and Secretary (Home, Political Affairs, Passports and Border) to file a fresh writ petition before appropriate bench in order to legally implement the MHA notification issued in October 2018.
“However, the Assam government is yet to file a fresh case in Gauhati High Court. This has jeopardised the cases of thousands of Gorkhas who seek to get their names removed from the list of D-voters and from the FT,” Yam Ghimire, national vice-president, BGP said.
The Parisangha had on Saturday urged the state chief secretary to take appropriate measures so that a fresh case is filed at the earliest in Gauhati High Court in this regard.

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