GUWAHATI, July 21 - Harka Bahadur Chetry, chairman of the Gorkha Autonomous Council Demand Committee (GACDC) representing approximately 30 lakh Gorkhalis of the State, has undertaken a non-violent democratic peaceful long march titled �Marathon March� from Murkong Selek, Jonai in Dhemaji district to Dispur, covering a distance of around 560 km from July 19 in protest against the alleged discrimination in according �Original Inhabitant� (OI) status to the Gorkhas of Assam in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) upgrading process.
The route of the march would be Dhemaji, North Lakhimpur, Biswanath Chariali, Sonitpur, Nagaon, Morigaon, Kamrup, Kamrup (Metro) and Guwahati. Chetry is expected to cover 30-50 km every day and reach Guwahati after August 1, when the Assam Assembly will still be in session.
At the time of starting the march from Murkong Selek, Chetry, popularly known as the �Gorkhafa� of Assam, said, �The Gorkhas of Assam have settled since time immemorial and have extensively contributed towards the nation-building process and the country�s freedom struggle. So denying �Original Inhabitant� and indigenous status to the Gorkhas in Assam is sheer discrimination and an attempt to deprive them of the fundamental rights of genuine Indian citizens.�
He added that the marathon march which would be a peaceful non-violent democratic rally without slogans and blockades from 6 am to 6 pm every day till it reaches Dispur, is �our way of registering our protest against this conspiracy and saving the fundamental rights of the Gorkhas.�
Hundreds of Gorkhas waited by the roadside to have a glimpse of the �Gorkhafa�. People residing by the national highway arranged refreshments and lunch for their leader. Women and students joined the marathon march as token support.