Source: Times of India
GUWAHATI: Gorkha leaders in Assam said the March 24, 1971 cut-off date in the Assam Accord for detection and deportation of foreigners should not be applied to the community as they are indigenous to the state.
At the conclusion of a 19-day-long 600-km marathon march at Dispur on Friday, Gorkha Autonomous Council Demand Committee (GACDC) chairman Harka Bahadur Chetry said members of the community actively took part in Assam Agitation from 1979 to 1985 against illegal Bangladeshis, with many from the community laying down their lives in the movement. The 600-km marathon walk from Mukong Selek in Dhemaji district to Dispur was organized to raise the pitch of the community’s demand for inclusion in the NRC as ‘original inhabitants’.
“In the NRC upgradin process, Gorkhas should be recognized as forming an indigenous community in Assam without any discrimination. Assam Accord’s cut-off date (March 24, 1971 midnight) cannot be applied to Gorkhas because they are sons of the soil,” Chetry said.
Recently, NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela clarified that ‘original inhabitant’ is not a special status as far as updating the NRC is concerned.
“As the law provides for original inhabitants to be included in the NRC, the provision is being put in place to ensure that no original inhabitant is deprived of or excluded from NRC due to unavailability of documents,” Hajela said.