The Gorkha National Liberation Front said on Monday that it would demand constitutional protection of Gorkhas in the hills and other parts of the country at the bipartite talks that is to be held today.
Mahendra Chhetri, the general secretary of the GNLF, said the constitutional protection was available to communities like Mizo, Garo, Naga and Khasi in the Northeast.
“We will demand constitutional protection from the state government at the fourth round of bipartite talks. There are provisions under articles 244 and 275 (1) of the Constitution to give such protection,” said Chhetri.
Located in Part X of the constitution, Article 244 provides for protection the Scheduled Areas and Tribal areas.
Article 244 reads,
“Administration of Scheduled Areas and Tribal Areas:
(1) The provisions of the Fifth Schedule shall apply to the administration and control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any State other than the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
(2) The provisions of the Sixth Schedule shall apply to the administration of the tribal areas in the States of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
Article 275 reads,
“275. Grants from the Union to certain States
(1) Such sums as Parliament may by law provide shall be charged on the Consolidated Fund of India in each year as grants in aid of the revenues of such States as Parliament may determine to be in need of assistance, and different sums may be fixed for different States: Provided that there shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India as grants in aid of the revenues of a State such capital and recurring sums as may be necessary to enable that State to meet the costs of such schemes of development as may be undertaken by the State with the approval of the Scheduled Tribes in that State or raising the level of administration of the Scheduled Areas therein to that of the administration of the rest of the areas of that State: Provided further that there shall be paid out of the Consolidated Fund of India as grants in aid of the revenues of the State of Assam sums, capital and recurring, equivalent to
(1A) On and from the formation of the autonomous State under Article 244 A,
“We had consulted legal experts and want to ensure that our community gets the protection. If we can attain it, it would largely help in achieving other demands, including the separate state,” Chhetri said.