Perturbed over the statement of former minister and BJP legislator Ravinder Singh Ravi on Gorkhas, the community demanded the suspension of the saffron party leader from the state assembly here on Monday.
Moving a resolution in the assembly on the menace of stray animals, Ravi on April 5 had offered an “unusual” solution to tackle the menace of monkeys and stray dogs — deploying Naga and Gorkha regiments in the state from time to time as both the animals are their delicacies.
Holding a protest in Dharamsala and other parts of the state, the Gorkha community also demanded an unconditional public apology from Ravi.
Raising their war cry, “Jai Mahakali Aayo Gorkhali”, the protesters also burnt an effigy of Ravi.
The representatives of the community also submitted a memorandum to governor of Himachal Pradesh Urmila Singh, chief minister Virbhadra Singh, speaker of the state assembly BB Butail, BJP national chief Rajnath Singh and state party president Satpal Singh Satti, demanding an action against the MLA.
“If the Gorkha or the Naga regiment is posted in different cantonments of the state from time to time, the population of monkeys would decline with passage of time,” Ravi was quoted as saying in media reports, adding that it would also help in maintaining the ecological balance.
The former irrigation and public health minister went on to say that some of the delicacies from the region to which these contingents belong were made from the meat of these animals.
“In the past, a regiment was posted in Holta (near Palampur town) and stayed there for three years and there was significant drop in the population of monkeys,” he had said and even urged the government to take up the matter with the defence ministry for the posting of these regiments in the state.
Meanwhile, expressing shock and pain and terming the statement as racist jibe against the Gorkhas, president of the Himachal and Punjab Gorkha Association Bhupinder Singh Gurung said it had not only hurt the sentiments of the Gorkha community, but also was inhuman and against animals.
Gurung said Ravi’s illegal suggestion was tantamount to contempt of court’s verdict and demanded Ravi’s disqualification from the Himachal assembly and requested the assembly speaker to expunge the remarks from the proceedings of the house.
“Apologise before the Gorkha community publically and in the Himachal assembly before the closure of the budget session on April 9 or be ready to face the music,” Gurung warned Ravi.
Terming Ravi’s statement as derogatory and defamatory, another Gorkha leader, Col RS Karki (retd) said such remarks by a seasoned politician tantamount to casting aspersions on the finest fighting force of the Indian Army affecting their moral as well.
He said the Gorkhas worship dogs on Diwali as a mark of reverence and worship monkeys considering them as God Hanumana.