Siliguri, Nov. 28: The plan of a group of Bhutanese refugees of Nepali origin to re-enter the country from which they had been ousted has put security forces here on high alert.
The refugees had left Bhutan to protest against a royal decree issued in the eighties that asked all citizens irrespective of ethnic origin to follow a particular dress code and adopt the country's official language. The order led to widespread disaffection among people of Nepali origin, who got together under Tek Nath Rizal to demand democracy in the kingdom. Since then, many have been living in refugee camps in Nepal.
Now, a group of refugees has come together under the banner of Bhutanese Refugees' Rehabilitation and Repatriation Centre, to seek 'rightful entry' into the country of which they claim to be citizens.
The march to Bhutan is likely to be organised in the first week of December. Indian security officials here are in touch with their Nepal counterparts on the route the rallyists are likely to take.
Admitting that the 'influx' will take place soon, Border Security Force deputy inspector-general Sukhjinder Singh Sandhu told The Telegraph: 'We are aware that refugees from Nepal are trying to re-enter Bhutan using north Bengal. We also have information that the refugees have forged strong links with the Maoist guerrillas of Nepal.'
'Inputs of mobilisation are coming from the region's (north Bengal and Bihar) borders with Nepal,' he added.
Other security agencies are also preparing to deal with the situation.
'We have sensitised our men posted along the India-Nepal border spanning two states. However, we feel that the rally will be peaceful,' said Jag Bahadur Singh Negi, the Sashastra Suraksha Bal (SSB) inspector-general in charge of the Patna and Guwahati frontier headquarters. Indian security forces are worried because of the Maoist link.
'Till date, the Bhutanese refugees have voiced their political concern peacefully. But with the Maoists taking up cudgels on their behalf, things could take a turn,' said a senior Darjeeling police officer.