The Assam cabinet decided on Wednesday that it will not register any case at the Foreigners' Tribunal against those excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) or doubtful voters from Gorkha community and withdraw all the existing cases in the Tribunal against them.
In a media statement, the Chief Minister's office said, "No new cases will be registered against Gorkha community in the state at the Foreigners' Tribunals and already registered cases will be withdrawn."
The decision comes as a breather to the Gorkha community that had been living in a limbo about the status of their citizenship in India following the update of NRC in which several names from the community have been excluded.
The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha (BGP), the only registered national organisation, representing 10.5 million Indian Gorkhas in 22 state units and five zones, that had earlier marked the exclusion from NRC as an "insult for being Indians" and were planning on filing a civil defamation suit, has welcomed the cabinet decision.
Nanda Kirat Dewan, general secretary of BGP said, "This cabinet decision is most welcome and I believe the government has the intention to follow it through to the books and not stop at just withdrawing the cases."
According to the 2011 census, there are over 5 lakh Gorkhas residing in Assam of which, Mr Dewan said close to 20,000-22,000 didn't find their names in the NRC that had excluded more than 19 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants in the final list released in Assam in August 2019.
There also are nearly 2,500 doubtful or D-voters from the community whose cases are going on in the Foreigners' Tribunal.
"We expect the government to not just stop at withdrawing the cases, but also make a plan to include them within the electoral roll before the next elections. For that, we had given a proposal to the government to set up nodal offices at every constituency where based on their documents, they are given voters ID," Mr Dewan said.
The cabinet has also decided to convert the land papers provided to indigenous landless people in the state into myadi pattas (permanent land settlement) from the day of allotment which will be non-transferable for the next 15 years.
It has also decided from the start, the process of filling up the 22,921 sanctioned posts in education department and holding Special Teacher Eligibility Test for filling up 1464 Posts reserved for Scheduled Tribe (Hills) and recruitment of Special TET in Bodo, Garo and Manipuri medium.