BENGAL POLITICS: Lepcha tribe seeks to restore dignity – hoping Bengal will listen at its political convenience and display ?!!
From The Asian Age
By Age Correspondent
Kolkata, Sep 04th, 2010: Claiming to be the aboriginal inhabitants of the hilly regions of Darjeeling, the Lepcha community lamented that they had not been taken into confidence over the Gorkhaland issue. (By Bengal and not by the Minority Front in Darjeeling ?!!)
They also alleged that the (Bengal) government has neglected them over the years. Protesting this, the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association (ILTA), a body of the Lepchas, will start an indefinite hunger strike at College Street.
“We are not in favour of a separate statehood status for the Darjeeling Hills. We do not support the demand for Gorkhaland. We are the original inhabitants of Darjeeling district but the government is yet to take our views on this,” D.T. Lepcha, president, ILTA said.
Mr Lepcha along with four other members of ILTA on Friday came to the Writers’ Buildings to meet the chief minister. However, they could not meet the chief minister and submitted their charter of demands to the chief minister’s office.
“Since 1947, we have sacrificed the most in terms of language, culture and the land which we belong to. Lepchas have been reduced from owners to vagrant sand have become minority in the Darjeeling Hills due to the government’s negligence. Seeking justice, we will sit on a dharna-cum hunger strike at Esplanade on Saturday and from Sunday onwards, we will start an indefinite hunger strike at College Square,” Mr Lepcha added.
Contoversy over ‘The Asian Age’ news-report on Lepcha opposition to Gorkhaland demand – Bengal’s true snide desperation exposed ?!!
From The Himalayan Beacon
By Barun Roy
DARJEELING, Sep 5, 2010: The Dharna Committee of the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association has refuted the news report published on The Asian Age today suggesting that the Lepchas were against the formation of the state of Gorkhaland.
In an statement issued to ‘The Himalayan Beacon’ the Dharna Committee of the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association (ILTA) has condemned the News Report as fictitious and mischievous with an intention to cause communal disharmony between Gorkhas and the Lepchas.
The Dharna Committee stated that it is trying to highlight the issues involving the Lepcha community which has been misconstrued as an opposition to the ongoing Gorkhaland Movement.
The Dharna Committee also stated that the Hunger Strike had not started and that D. T. Lepcha was not the President of the Indigenous Lepcha Tribal Association.