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Fri, 24 May 2019

Northeast Today

Manipur tribal body opposes move to grant ST status to Meiteis

Manipur tribal body opposes move to grant ST status to Meiteis
March 07
15:50 2019

NET Bureau

 

Days after Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh informed the assembly that both the state and the Centre are trying their best to include Meiteis in the Scheduled Tribe (ST) list, a tribal body has come out in opposition to the move.

Slamming the government for the decision, the All Tribal Rights Protection Forum Manipur (ATRPFM) said Meiteis enjoy considerable socio-economic privileges and therefore the ST status should not be accorded to them. ATRPFM said the move will jeopardize the interests of the tribal communities of the state. It further added that the tribal bodies will rise in protest if the state agrees to accord ST status to the Meiteis.

Biren’s announcement on Monday came a day after a mass rally was organised by the ST Demand Committee, Manipur (STDCM) in Imphal. Women vendors, traders and transport operators of Imphal joined in the rally. STDCM leader said they want ST status for the Meiteis to ensure that the community enjoys a constitutional safeguard at a time when they are facing threats from influx of illegal immigrants. Manipur’s titular King Leishemba Sanajoba had also backed the ST status demand, saying that the Meiteis are facing a threat of extinction and need to be protected.
The committee had threatened to call a 36-hour general strike from 6 pm on March 9 if the state government failed to send its recommendations to the Centre for including the Meiteis in the ST list by Wednesday.
Responding to a call-attention motion raised by MLA K Meghachandra Singh of the opposition Congress on the last day of the 7th assembly session, Biren on Monday said the demand is reasonable as the indigenous people of the state are under threat. “The demand for ST status began during the term of the previous government,” he had said.
Source: TOI
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