GUWAHATI: An influential organisation of the Gorkhas on Sunday said the Gorkhas, left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, will not file appeals in the various foreigners’ tribunals to challenge their exclusion.
“The Gorkhas of Assam won't go to the foreigners’ tribunals to prove their citizenship,” Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha (BGP) national president Sukhman Moktan told reporters here.
He said to try the Gorkhas in the tribunals would be an insult on their Indianness.
“We can file a defamation suit against the system for challenging the citizenship of the Gorkhas and Nepali-speaking population by way of taking them to the courts of the tribunals,” Moktan warned.
There are no official records to suggest the number of Gorkhas excluded from the NRC. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a rights organisation had, however, claimed that it was to the extent of one lakh.
The BGP represents some 10.5 million Gorkhas of India. During a week-long tour of Assam which concluded on Sunday, its leaders met NRC victims and the “arbitrarily-marked” “doubtful voters” and their descendants whose citizenship is challenged even after a notification of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, issued last year, exempted the Gorkhas from being tried in the foreigners’ tribunals.
“This is an attempt of a few vested interests within the system to disrespect Indian Gorkhas who are actually original inhabitants as is proven by our historically-recorded presence since centuries,” Moktan said.
Asked if the BGP has any plans to drag Assam government to the Gauhati High Court for the delay in filing fresh writ petition in proper bench to uphold the MHA notification, BGP’s Assam unit president Nityananda Upadhyay said, “The BGP is one of the parties of the NRC case in the Supreme Court. If the Assam government doesn’t do its duty as directed by the Union of India, the BGP will take a policy decision to take the matter to the apex court”.