Assam’s NRC issue has led to a war of words between the two factions of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha — one led by absconding GJM leader Bimal Gurung and the other by Binay Tamang — in the Hills. While Gurung said the state government was “secretly” making arrangements to settle those whose names would not come up in the final list of National Register of Citizenship (NRC) in Darjeeling, the Tamang faction called his claims baseless.
Out of the 3.29 crore applications received by the NRC, the names of around 40 lakh people in Assam haven’t been included in the second and final draft released on July 30. The first draft released in December last year had the names of 1.9 crore people.
A press communiqué released by Gurung from an unknown location on Saturday said: “I have been made aware of the fact that the state government is secretly measuring land in our hills. If this is done to settle illegal Bangladeshis who have been removed from Assam, then it creates a national security threat.”
“No one should dream of undermining the indigenous population of North Bengal by hoping to settle illegal Bangladeshish who have been kicked out of Assam. If they attempt anything like this, then all the communities in the Hills will rise against the government,” the communique said.
“We are also concerned about the situation in Assam. But we won’t allow the indigenous communities here to suffer. If actions are taken to undermine the locals, Bimal Gurung won’t stay silent,” it added.
Reacting to the statement, Anit Thapa, general secretary of GJM (Binay Tamang faction) and vice-chairman of GTA, said, “Gurung is away from the Hills for more than a year. He left the people behind to suffer after getting involved in subversive activities. He has no right to talk about national security. He is making baseless allegations under pressure from the BJP.”
Gurung has been absconding since last year when the Gorkhaland agitation hit Darjeeling and Kalimpong. Gurung has cases of murder, rioting and arson against him.