IMPHAL, July 16: The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had assured to look into the demands o the Schedule Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur for the inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in the Schedule Tribe List of the Government of India, said the committee’s chairman Dr Y Mohendra Singh during a press conference at Uripok Laikhurembi community hall today.
He said a team of the committee had on July 10 met with the Prime Minister and submitted a memorandum in this regard during which the PM had made the assurance to look into their demand.
Memorandums to this regard have been submitted to the state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh on December 18, 2012 and the state Governor on November 30, 2012.
He elaborated following the announcement in 1950 of the Manipur Merger Agreement signed in 1949, the then President of India had announced the Meitei’s as non-tribals due to lack of proper clarification.
He said in 1980, the centre had again proposed for a claim against the decision of classification made in 1950 regarding the inclusion of Meiteis/Meeteis as Scheduled Tribe but was against oppsosed by certain sections of the society.
He said the Meiteis do not belong to the general category and belongs in the tribe category.
Since the signing of merger agreement with its population in different categories, the relation between the different communities has only worsened, he said and added that it means that the decision taken by the central government that the Meiteis are non-tribe was based on an incomplete picture of the social mores.
According to the “Tribal Demography in India” by CB Mamoria, the Class III tribal as defined by “The Aboriginals” by Vernier Elwin representing nearly 20 million which have become backward Hindus should include the Meitei people living in the plains.
Lastly, he said the Schedule Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur would like to declare the Meitei as one of the Tribal groups of Manipur as it will certainly help in bringing integration of the hill and plain people.