Tribal front disapproves state map

The Telegraph

Siliguri, July 29: A new forum of the tribals today protested the map proposed by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha for the separate state it wants.

“As the tribals are the majority in the Terai and the Dooars, they (Morcha leaders) are trying to create a rift in the community by sketching a map that covers certain portions of the Dooars and not the entire area,” said Suman Ekka, the general secretary of the Adivasi Democratic Front here.

The front was formed about a month ago comprising members of the political parties like the Congress and the RSP.

“The Dooars and Terai population have always been together and there is no question of separating these areas for the sake of the Morcha,” Ekka said.

After bringing out the map, the Morcha leaders had said they had included only the Gorkha-dominated areas of the Dooars in the map. “But we want to make it clear that there is no area in the Dooars where the Gorkhas are a majority. We have nothing to say if the Morcha continues its agitation for a separate state while keeping its territory limited to the three hill subdivisions.”

Ekka, who introduced himself as a Congress leader, said the tribal population of the Dooars and the Terai would prefer to stay within the administrative ambit of Bengal instead of the Morcha’s separate state. “We would be a minority then if the entire Dooars is not included in the territory (proposed by the Morcha).

Samuel Gurung, a Morcha central committee member in-charge of the Dooars, denied any intention to create a rift among the tribals.

“We have no such intentions. The territory of the proposed separate state that has been demarcated by our party leadership is based on certain facts and not something quirky,” Gurung said.

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www.kalimpong.info

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