Imphal, October 24 2017: The State Government and the Schedule Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM) held first round of talk on the latter’s demand for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in Schedule Tribe category under the Constitution of India.
As invited by the State Government, the talk began at 4.45 pm in the office chamber of Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar at Secretariat North Block .
Apart from the Deputy Chief Minister, Works Minister Th Biswajit too attended the meeting which lasted for almost one hour .
STDCM president Dr Muhindro led a 21-member team to the meeting .
Speaking to media persons after the meeting, STDCM general secretary retired Col Laishram Lokendro claimed that the meeting was quite positive .
The meeting held today could not be final.
There would be several rounds of talks, he said .
Now, it has been established that the Government has acknowledged the movement for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in ST list and there is a positive atmosphere to take the demand forward, Lokendro said .
On being enquired about the demands placed at the meeting by the STDCM delegates and whether the State Government has taken up any measures to make due recommendation to the Government of India, Lokendro said that there was no new demand.
Yet the meeting deliberated on the demand already known to public and media .
The State Government’s recommendation to the Centre for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in ST list would decided after further deliberations.
As of now, nothing has been discussed about the State Government endorsing the same demand, Lokendro said .
Although it was said that the demand would be discussed further, it has not been decided when would the second round of talks be held .
For quite sometime, STDCM has been undertaking different civil movements demanding enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in ST category .
They have been advocating that enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in ST category would reduce differences created by the Constitution of India between hill people and plain people apart from enacting a constitutional safeguard .
A public convention held at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen under the aegis of STDCM resolved that the State Government should forward due recommendation along with necessary documents/reports to the Government of India for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in ST list .
Notably, Chief Minister N Biren stated in the Manipur Legislative Assembly during the monsoon session that the demand would be referred to the Manipur State Commission for Schedule Tribes.
Source: The Sangai Express