Gorkhas hold dharna for separate state

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New Delhi, Dec 22 (UNI) The Bharatiya Gorkha Parishad (BGP) today held a dharna here at Jantar Mantar and urged the Central government to accept their seven demands including a separate state for them.

About 1000 Gorkhas from 22 states across the country held the dharna which was led by president of BGP and former Member of Parliament Dil Kumari Bhandari.

The seven demands include resolving problems of tea garden workers, setting up of a separate Doordarshan channel for Indian Gorkhas and declaring them a 'linguistic minority'.

BGP general secretary Sukuman Moktan said they have been demanding for Indian Gorkhas a separate state for the last three years. The community whose contribution in the freedom struggle was significant, are in majority in Darjeeling, Sikkim besides residing in large numbers in Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and in several other states, he added.

He said, however, the tendency of Indian mainstream to compare Indian Gorkhas with citizens of Nepal was a major hurdle for their community which needs to be changed.

The memorandum was given to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Opposition leader L K Advani and other leaders.

The dharna was supported by major political formations of Darjeeling as well as other organisations.

Among those who addressed the dharna were president Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Bimal Gurung, president All India Gorkha League Madan Tarnang, former member of Parliament and general secretary Communist Party Revolutionary Marxist (CPRM) R B Rai, president GNLF Col D K Pradhan, district president BJP, Darjeeling Dr G S Yonzone, president Gorkha Rashtriya Congress D K Bomzon and Dehradun unit of Gorkha Democratic Front Surya Vikram Shahi.

UNI

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