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Lepcha meet on Gorkhaland

Kalimpong, Dec. 18: The Indigenous Lepcha Forum has refused to join other minority communities from the hills in supporting the Gorkhaland movement.

Forum president Paul Simmick said the decision not to be part of a team that went to Delhi for a pro-Gorkhaland dharna recently was taken as the community did not want to be clubbed with minority groups, who are not indigenous to the place.

“This is not to say we oppose the demand for a separate state. We will be supporting the movement as a community and not merely as individuals as was being done till today,” Simmick said.

Lepchas in the Darjeeling hills will articulate their views on the recently revived Gorkhaland movement at a programme to observe the 277th birth anniversary of King Gaeboo Achyuk on Saturday.

The Lepchas have reasons to feel insecure, Simmick said. “The DGHC experience has taught us that our interest is never taken care of. We did not even have a reserved seat in the council. We want constitutional guarantee to protect our interest in future dispensations.”

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