Darjeeling: The Bengal government has decided to include the Khas community of the Gorkhas in the Other Backward Classes list.
The Khas is considered as “an upper caste” among Gorkhas and among 10 hill communities which demand the tribal status. Khas community leaders have welcomed the state’s decision terming it as a step towards realising their tribal tag demand.
R.B. Raya, the assistant secretary of the Khas Bharatiya Hitkari Sammelan, said on Tuesday: “We thank the state government for accepting our demand. Inclusion of our community in the OBC will boost our demand for tribal status as we are not considered as backward.”
The Backward Classes Welfare Department issued a gazette notification on March 29, 2018, notifying the inclusion of the Khas in the OBC (Category B). “Whereas it has been made to appear to the Governor that the West Bengal Commission for Backward Classes has recommended one new class of people, namely, Khas, as Other Backward Classes of this State included in the list of Other Backward Classes under the Heading “Backward (Category B’)”.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of the power conferred…the Governor, is pleased herby to make, with immediate effect, the following amendment in the Schedule 1 appended to the said Act,” the notification reads.
Even though the OBC demand has been accepted, the community’s main objective is to get itself included in the ST list.