Ukhrul, November 01 2017: The All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) has strongly opposed the move and demand of the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (STDCM), Manipur to include the Meiteis in the ST category.
ATRPFM president Sanjoy Jajo in a statement said that despite stiff opposition from the tribal community, the ST demand for the Meiteis has been gaining traction and this is strictly opposed and condemned .
The movement for inclusion of Meiteis in the ST category may cause more misunderstanding and further the divide between the hills and the valley, he added .
Recalling the demand for ILP in 2016, the three Bills passed in the State Assembly without consulting the stake holders and how this resulted in a public uproar wherein nine tribals were killed at Churachandpur, Jajo said that such an ugly incident may return if the State Government goes ahead and tries to appease the ST for the Meiteis proponents .
S Jajo further said that the indifferent attitude of the State Government towards the plight of the tribal people led to such a sustained protest at Churachandpur and added that the situation could have been handled much better, if only the State Government understood the rights of the tribal people .
He warned that another similar situation might arise if the BJP led Government fails to understand the pulse and feeling against the demand for inclusion of Meiteis in the ST status.
Secretary of ATRPFM H Bryan said that the State Government need to consider the interest of all communities in order to ensure peaceful co-existence.
Any Bill passed without consulting all communities will be opposed, he warned.
Source: The Sangai Express