NEW DELHI: The Centre on Friday agreed to hold tripartite talks involving all stakeholders concerned, to discuss relevant issues and demands for the creation of a separate Gorkhaland and other problems related to the region.
The Union Home Ministry took this decision after Gorkha Janmukti Morcha leaders such as Kalmpong MLA Sarita Rai met Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba.
Sources in the ministry said that the home secretary assured the Gorkha leaders that a tripartite meeting would be held latest by November to discuss all issues. While a separate state has been the central demand of Gorkha leaders, they have also been seeking that certain hill communities be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes.
On September 17, the Gorkha leadership in the Darjeeling Hills made public an official communication from the central ministry of tribal affairs stating that the Bengal government had since 2014 twice recommended that 11 Gorkha communities be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes, but each time the Registrar General of India (RGI) had not supported it.-- The Union home ministry is the RGI’s parent organisation.
The demand for including hill communities in the ST list has been a long-standing one, as only around 34 per cent of these communities have been enlisted as tribals, a tag that entitles them to reservations in government jobs, education and special concessions.