GUWAHATI: In a landmark judgment, the Assam cabinet today took a decision not to prosecute any Gorkha citizen under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 1955 and also to withdraw all pending prosecution relating to Gorkhas from foreigners tribunals.
The Assam Chief Minister in a tweet replying to Raju Bista, MP from Darjeeling Parliamentary Constituency wherein the MP thanked Dr. Himanta Biswa for recognizing Gorkhas as a protected class in Sadiya Tribal Belts said this.
Earlier the Centre has issued a clarification to the Government of Assam on the citizenship status of members of the Gorkha Community living in the State as per the Foreigners Act, 1946.
It further emphasized that any member of the Gorkha community holding Nepalese nationality and who has arrived in India by land or air over the Nepal border even without a passport or visa and staying in India for any length of time shall not be treated as an illegal migrant if he/she is in possession of any of the identity documents namely the Nepalese Passport, Nepalese Citizenship Certificate, a voter identification card issued by the Election Commission of Nepal, limited validity photo-identity certificate issued by Nepalese Mission in India when deemed necessary and for children between the age group of 10-18 years, photo ID issued by the principal of the school if accompanied by parents having valid travel documents. No such document is required for children below the age group of 10 years, the communication added citing provisions of the India-Nepal Treaty signed in 1950.
It added that the cases of members of the Gorkha community falling within the parameters mentioned earlier should not be referred to the Foreigner Tribunals for an opinion as to whether the person is a "foreigner" within the meaning of The Foreigners Act, 1946.
The communication also clarified that only those individuals, who have come from specified territories i.e. territories included in Bangladesh immediately before commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 1985, to the State of Assam, and are not Indian citizens, can be referred to the Foreigners tribunals.