Tribal body opposes ST status to six communities of Assam

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representative-image-1GUWAHATI: The Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisation of Assam (CCTOA, an umbrella body different tribal groups, on Monday categorically asked the central and state governments to stop the process of granting scheduled tribe status to six communities. The six communities demanding ST status are Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Moran, Motok, Chutia and Adivasi. The six communities are currently in OBC category.

Last Friday the leaders of six communities met officials of home ministry’s committee on recommending modalities for granting scheduled tribe status. The leaders asked the committee to expedite the ST process. The committee is expected to submit its report to the Centre by October 15.
On Monday leaders of CCTOA met Assam chief secretary V K Pipersenia to apprise the state government that granting ST status to six communities would be detrimental to existing tribal of the state. Existing tribal comprises 12.5% of 3.12 crore population in the state.

“During our meeting today we have made it clear that the process of granting ST to the six communities should be stopped. We have also placed our arguments to the chief secretary on why ST status should not be granted to the six communities,” CCTOA chief coordinator Aditya Khaklary said. Khajlary said that one of the arguments placed by the CCTOA during the meeting was that the six communities were comparatively “more advanced” than the existing tribal on socio-economic fronts.

“Once the six communities get the ST status, it will have deep implications on existing tribal in terms of reservations in education, job and other sectors,” Khaklary added. Granting ST status to the six communities is one of the electoral promises of the BJP government both at the centre and the state. The NDA on March this year had also formed a committee under home ministry for recommending modalities for reservations, shifting of existing reservations of six communities from OBC to ST, protecting the interest of existing tribes, mechanism to ensure fairness of reservations within the six communities and related security considerations.

News Source: Times of India

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