“Our community is against NRC and CAB, we don’t want any disruptive exercise in the hills,” said a Shezoom statement sent to Northeast Now by e-mail.
Shezoom says it has also written to Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankar sharing their worries about the implementation of NRC in West Bengal.
Claiming that the Lepchas were the original inhabitants of the Hills of West Bengal, the Shezoom said the Lepchas have also been demanding a statutory body for the uplift of the community in the districts of Kalimpong and Darjeeling – who are also deprived of the ‘Gorkha certificate’.
‘It seems Lepchas will be the only ones to stand with the Hon’ble CM till the end, unconditionally in the Hills’, the statement said.
The Nepali speaking Gorkhas have now outnumbered the Lepchas and Bhutias in the hills of Darjeeling and Kalimpong.
Faced with the demand for a separate Gorkhaland in the hills, Banerjee assiduously cultivated the Lepchas and Bhutias by playing on their fears of Nepali domination.
She also promised greater development for areas dominated by them and supported their demand for a statutory body.
Her Trinamool Congress party fielded India’s former football captain Baichung Bhutia as party candidate in 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Darjeeling and in the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections from Siliguri.
But Bhutia lost both the polls.
Later Bhutia resigned his TMC membership last year and floated his own party.
Mamata Banerjee is now using the exclusion of nearly one lakh Nepali speaking Gorkhas from the Assam NRC to whip up anti-NRC feelings in the Hills.