Gangtok, 09 May:
A delegation led by All Gorkha Janjati Sangharsh Mahasangh president, Kanchan Gurung called on Union Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation and Darjeeling MP [Lok Sabha], S.S Ahluwalia at his official residence in New Delhi today to press their long pending demand for Bhujel, Gurung, Mangar, Newar, Jogi, Khas, Rai, Sunwar, Thami, Yakha (Dewan) and Dhimal communities in Darjeeling, Doars, Sikkim and other Gorkha dominated States be granted the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Mr Ahluwalia said a committee was looking into the matter and was likely to submit its report to the government soon.
The delegation also met Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Chairperson of the committee, Vishu Maini and submitted a memorandum with regard to their demand for granting ST status to 11 communities.
Mr Gurung expressed satisfaction over his discussion with the Chairperson of the committee and thanked Mr Ahluwalia for his sincere efforts towards getting the demand fulfilled.
The 11 Gorkha sub-communities have been demanding the ST status, which will help them get a host of government benefits.
The BJP-led central government had constituted a committee in April, 2016 to look into the demand and put forward recommendations.
Ahluwalia had last month written to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, urging him to take appropriate measures to grant the ST status to the 11 Gorkha sub-communities.