RTI reply on Darjeeling hills Tribal status Demand

Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh (BGP) has demanded Tribal status for all the Darjeeling hills communities except Schedule Caste.

West Bengal government and GTA have been claiming their efforts to include 10 communities of Darjeeling hills into Tribal status for long time back.
BGP has received a copy of RTI (Right to Information) reply from the central government on the Tribal issues of Darjeeling hills, R Moktan, BGP national spokesperson, stated in a press meet in Kalimpong today.
According to RTI reply, West Bengal government has recommended following hills communities (Bhujel, Gurung, Magar, Newar, Joshi, Khas, Rai and Yakha Dewan) for Tribal status and sent it to Central government. However, it has not been mentioned anything from GTA on RTI reply.
On last August, a delegation headed by Bimal Gurung had submitted a memorandum to Jual Oram, Minister of Tribal Affairs, for Tribal status for 11 communities including ‘Dhimal’ of Dooars.
However, ‘Dhimal’ community of Dooars is not mentioned at all in RTI reply. Meanwhile, central government has sent the recommended hills communities issue to RGI (Registrar General of India) for their opinion. It’s mandatory for the government to get the opinion of the RGI before giving tribal status to any community. Although the Tribal Affairs Ministry is the nodal agency which can give ST status.

Source: DC [input from Himalaya Darpan]

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