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In Photo: A concrete bridge that connects India and Nepal at Panitanki off Siliguri. File photo. 

By A Newsman

Siliguri, 10 August: A DELEGATION of Atul Roy led Kamtapur Progressive Party (KPP) is heading to Delhi to press the Centre on Constitutional recognition for Kamtapuri language and abrogation of the 1950 Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

They are scheduled to call on Union home minister Rajnath Singh and human resources development minister Smriti Irani on 12 and 13 August, respectively.

KPP alleges that the Indo-Nepal Treaty is abetting a large influx of Nepali citizens into north Bengal, especially in Darjeeling district and the Dooars.

“Taking advantage of the Treaty, Nepali citizens are crossing over to north Bengal, easily getting their names enrolled in the voters list here and are obtaining ration cards. In turn, they are reducing the native population of north Bengal into a minority,” Anarul Seikh, the Bengal zone general secretary of KPP told a Press conference in Siliguri on Monday.

He said that an 11 member delegation of KPP would call on the Union ministers to pitch for the abrogation of the Treaty, recognition of Kamtapuri language, creation of a separate Kamtapur state and four more demands.

A section of the delegation is scheduled to start for Delhi later today; others, including the party chief Atul Roy will go on Tuesday. KPP Assam zone general secretary Uttam Roy was present in the Press meet today.

Mr Seikh said that they were hoping for a positive response from Centre as KPP had actively backed the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. “We are in touch with the BJP Darjeeling MP Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia and in fact, he is helping us is securing appointments with the Union ministers.”

KPP, a political party active in parts of north Bengal, has some influence over the indigenous Rajbangshi population in the region and in lower Assam.