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In Photo: Bimal Gurung (right) and SS Ahulwalia (left) during the meeting with Union tribal affairs affairs minister Jual Oram in New Delhi on Monday. Photo courtesy: Bimal Gurung on FB 

Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 11 August: THE CENTRE has convened a meeting in September to discuss the modalities for inclusion of 11 sub-groups of the Gorkha communities in the list of Schedule Tribes.

According to Bimal Gurung, chief executive of the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) of Darjeeling, the meeting will be held between the Union tribal affairs ministry, Registrar General of India (RGI) and the GTA.

The move comes after a delegation of the GTA, led by Mr Gurung, called on the Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram in New Delhi on Monday and served a memorandum demanding that the Gorkha sub-groups living in different parts of India should be included in the list of Schedule Tribes. The delegation was accompanied by BJP Darjeeling Lok Sabha MP SS Ahluwalia.

GTA has specifically named Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakhha (Dewan) and Dimal communities for inclusion in the Schedule Tribes’ list. The demand, if realised, will facilitate benefits such as education and job reservations to these communities.

“Shri Jual Oram gave a positive hearing and has called for a meeting in September which will be held between Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Registrar General of India (RGI) and the GTA to discuss the modalities for the inclusion of these 11 communities in the central list of Schedule Tribes,” Mr Gurung has posted on his Facebook wall.

Inclusion of Gorkha sub-groups in the Schedule Tribes’ List is one of the clauses that were mentioned in the Memorandum of Agreement on Gorkhaland Territorial Administration inked on 18 July, 2011 between the Centre, the West Bengal government and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) leadership.