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Assam cabinet’s big decision; Gorkha community not to be prosecuted under citizenship act

GUWAHATI: The Assam cabinet has taken the decision to not prosecute members of Gorkha community under the Citizenship Act.

Along with this decision, the Assam cabinet also decided to withdraw all cases against the community members in foreigner’s tribunals.

The Gorkha community of Assam welcomed the Assam Cabinet’s decision of not prosecuting members of the community under the Citizenship Act.

Talking to InsideNE, Prem Tamang, Chairman of Gorkha Development Council  said, “”On behalf of the 25 lakh Gorkhas in Assam, I extend my gratitude the decision made by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his cabinet.

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“The new government earlier had fulfilled two of our demands including the amendment of the land revenue act. He is paying attention to the issues faced by the community so we are really happy about it”, he further said.

Welcoming the decision Arjun Chettri, President of the All Assam Gorkha Students Union (AAGSU), said, “We welcome the decision taken by the Assam Cabinet for the welfare of the indigenous Gorkha communities of Assam. In 1996-97, the people of our community had go through severe hardships to prove that that they are also the citizens of the state in spite of having proper documents.”

He further expressed his gratitude towards the Chief Minister for understanding the woes of the community.

Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP) the national social organisation of Gorkhas also welcomed the Government of Assam’s cabinet decision and thanked the Chief Minister for solving long pending problem of Gorkhas of Assam that began wayback in 1997.

Nanda Kirati Dewan, National Secretary, Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh said in a report, “The cabinet decision will come as a huge relief for Gorkha families who were prosecuted under the citizenship law. It would also remove the tag of illegal immigrants or foreigners from members of the community who are original inhabitants of Assam and are bonafide Indian citizens. At least 22000 Gorkhas are marked D Voter arbitrarily in the Electoral Rolls since 1997 and nearly 2500 are being heard at various FT Courts meanwhile around 500 cases were disposed off since the NRC process began. Few were given exparte decision and declared foreigner, some were jailed in detention camp. With our combined efforts, most of these cases have been resolved, but some are still pending,”

‘Gorkha community wants that the D-voter tags of Gorkhas should removed as mark of implementation of this cabinet decision so that they can exercise their right to vote from the forthcoming bye election’, the youth leader Nanda Kirati Dewan president of BGP’s youth wing Bhartiya Gorkha Yuva Parisangh (BGYP) strongly asserted.

It should be noted that on behalf of Gorkhas of Assam, the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP) filed an Interlocutory Application (IA) before the Supreme Court of India on NRC after first draft was made public. BGP pursued the matter not just legally but also before the constitutional authority. The Honourable Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi had observed on the floor of the bench that Gorkhas are Asset of the Nation. MHA too had issued a notification about Gorkha D Voters and FTs on 24th Sept 2018 which too cited Foreigners Tribunal Act and Citizenship Act said Gorkhas shouldn’t be tried at FTs.

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