Before beginning the physical survey of Terai and the Dooars region on the issue of the inclusion of these territories into the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA),the high-power committee headed by Justice Shyamal Sen has sought the census data of the two areas.
In a meeting held between the chairman of the committee and the state government officials on Tuesday,it was decided that the census department will provide the 2001 census report of the region and a map of both the areas with the respective population figures,as demanded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM).
We have also asked for a complete map of both the districts Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri where these areas fall showing the data of the mouzas as claimed by GJM. We will meet again on April 12 and the next course of action will be decided, said Justice Sen told The Indian Express.
According to a senior official of the GTA,the high-0power committee will study the census data of the areas first. We have to study the population of the Nepali-speaking people in the mouzas. The physical survey cannot be started before the study on the census data is completed. We are expecting that the data and the maps will be available to us before April 12. In the meeting which will be held on April 12,we will decide on how to conduct the survey, said Justice Sen.
However,this was the first time when four members of the GJM were absent from the meeting of the high-powered panel.
Significantly,the census data that will be taken for consideration to prepare the report is of 2001. The data collected during 2011 census are different as pattern of Nepali-speaking population in the area has changed considerably. We know that there will be complications as the 2001 census data would not match with the present situation. But the census department cannot provide us the 2011 census data,as it has not been published yet, added the official.
The committee has been asked to submit its report by early June.