FROM INDIAN EXPRESS
Ten days ahead of the swearing-in ceremony for the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA), the Nepali-speaking people of the Terai and Dooars feel cheated as they have not been included in the GTA.
The Nepali-speaking population in the area has threatened a strike after the swearing-in ceremony if the state government does not include the mouzas where the Nepali-speaking population is higher than Adivasi people.
John Barla, rebel Adivasi leader, said, “We are waiting for the swearing-in ceremony to be completed. We will intensify our movement. We feel humiliated and cheated by the state government. If the state can form a GTA for the development of the people of the hills, why were we not included in the GTA? The Adivasi and Nepali population are more backward than the people living in Darjeeling. But the state government has a stepmotherly attitude towards the people living in the Dooars and Terai region.”
He added, “Our people have been cheated time and again. Now we will intensify our movement. If the state government does not pay heed to our appeal, we have to opt for indefinite strike.”
Sankar Adhikari, a senior GJM leader of Terai and Dooars region, said, “To the Nepali people living in Terai and Dooars region, there is no acceptance of the Sen committee report. And the government has also formed another committee to verify the facts of the Sen committee. We think the state government will do justice and add more mouzas from Terai and Dooars to the GTA. And if that does not happen, we have to start a mass agitation in the area again.”