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Assam : Bilateral Talks on Gorkhas issue with Gorkha Autonomous Council Demand Committee initiated

Nanda Kumar Kirati
Dispur/Guwahati :  The Government of Assam yesterday initiated official round of bilateral talks with Gorkha Autonomous Council Demand Committee (GACDC) on various issues of Indigenous Gorkhas of Assam. The Government invited GACDC for officials talks after Harka Bahadur Chetry chairman of GACDC who had lead the  Raithaney Gorkha Ganna Annashan (Mass People Fast) at Dighalipukhuri Par,  Lakshidhar Bora  Kshetra,  Guwahati after being denied permission for fast unto death as declared by Chetri as a part of democratic agitation.

The 7 member high-level GACDC delegation was lead by its Chairman Shri. Harka Bahadur Chetry and the Government of Assam was represented by Commissioner and Secretary Home & Political Affairs etc.  Smti. L S Changsan IAS and Chief Co-ordinator NRC Assam Shri.  Prateek Hajela IAS,  Additional Director General of Police, Special Branch Shri.  Pallab Bhattacharrya IPS and Shri. Hazowary Commissioner & Secy, Welfare of the Plain Tribes, Jt. Secretaries of  Education,  Assam Accord Implemenation Deptt. The meeting was held at the Janta Bhawan at C Block at the conference hall of Home Department, Government of Assam. The GACDC delegation included 3 senior vice chairmen Dil Bahadur Limboo, Tharka Adhikari and Padum Baraiely, Chief Secy I/C Pinku Thapa and Organising Secretary Lakpa Lama.

In the meeting all the demands put forth by the GACDC through the Memorandum submitted by GACDC to the Chief Minister on 10th Sept 2016 at Brahmaputra State Guest House after the Raithaney Gorkha Janabhela held at Khanapara Vet. college playground was discussed elaborately. It should be recalled that Harka Bahadur Chetri successfully completed 600 km Marathon March from Jonai in Dhemaji  to Dispur Guwahati  demanding Gazette notification for Gorkhas as Indigenous in Assam against discrimination in marking OI in NRC updation process. Following this meeting the Government  of Assam officially started the bilateral talks with GACDC and the later suspended it's democratic agitation for the time being. The issue indigenous status of Gorkha in Assam was elaborately discussed and agreed that GoA would take up the mater with Ministry of Home Affairs,  Government of India and look into all aspects to issue such notification. Government of Assam will also discuss Indo Nepal Friendship Treaty 1950 clauses reconsideration issue that has created identity crisis of Indigenous Gorkha raised by GACDC.

The GACDC suggested  Goverment of Assam to consult the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) constituted by Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India  to review the treaty. On issues of educating masses through school and curriculum about the Gorkhas, Smti. Changsan who chaired the official bilateral talks  advised Department of Education to form a Committee with resource person suggested by GACDC as immediate as possible and include the stories of Gorkhas from fields most importantly contribution in national building process and freedom struggle movements  in all curriculums from KG to PG. Education department also appraised the delegation of making corrections of all the mistakes pointed out by GACDC in the government text books issued by SEBA and AHSEC which was found to degarotory.  GACDC handed over copies of books  which is in circulation now published printed and distributed by the Government to the Joint Secretary Deptt. Of Education Smti. Sweety Kalita for immediate correction in next print and issue a corrigendum in this regard.

Next round of bilateral talks will be held either in last week of April or first week of  May. In the mean time GACDC is advised to participate in expert committee formation for Education and other issues and be part of vibrantv democracy to address the issues and find amicable solution. The GACDC is also requested to arrange and furnish referral documents to substantiate and support  the matters in the memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister. GACDC has appealed for Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) and sign bilateral or tripartite agreement *Indigenious Gorkha Accord* to resolve the issues raised in the memorandum.

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