Tribal bodies oppose ST status demand for Meeteis/Meiteis

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IMPHAL, Sep 27 : Opposing the demand of the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee, Manipur that the Meeteis/ Meiteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution of India, the Outer Manipur Tribals’ Forum (OMTF), a conglomerate body of the Hmar Inpui, Thadou Inpi Manipur, Mizo People Convention, United Naga Council and Zomi Council and the Joint Action Committee Against Anti-Tribal Bills (JACAATB) today alleged that the  demand is nothng but a continuation of the policy of the valley dwelling people to annex tribal lands and grab the meagre privileges bestowed on the tribal people.

In a statement released to the press today, the two bodies said that as a part of the ongoing fight for tribal rights and identity they have submitted a joint memorandum to the Prime Minister to oppose the demand that the Meeteis/ Meiteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list. “Such sinister designs will be resisted,’ said the statement.

Asserting that the boycott of all tribal MLAs and the lone tribal MP still stands, the two bodies said that they are banned from having any activity or movement in the tribal areas of Manipur. The OMTF and the JACAATB will not be responsible for any untoward incident if the boycott call is not heeded, said the statement and added that any individual or organisation, aiding or cooperating with them shall be doing so at their own risks.

This was as resolved during the joint meeting of the OMTF and JACAATB on July 18 this year, it added. Recalling the other resolutions adopted during the joint meeting, the statement said that the Congress party stands boycotted in the tribal areas for drafting, introducing and passing the three Bills in the State Assembly on August 31, 2015. Individuals or organisations including political parties which betray the indigenous tribal peoples shall have no place in the tribal areas of Manipur, added the statement. The protest which erupted after the three Bills were passed has already crossed one year but yet the Centre and the State Government have refused to take any concrete steps to address the grievances of the tribal people, said the statement and called for a separate administrative set up for the tribals

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