The Telegraph
Saturday , September 24 , 2016

Meeting on ST status

Guwahati, Sept. 23: A tripartite meeting held between representatives of the Union home ministry, Assam government and six ethnic communities in New Delhi today fixed October 15 as the last date for submitting modalities to grant ST status to six communities of Assam.

Sources told The Telegraph this evening that the meeting, held in New Delhi, held a detailed discussion on granting ST status to six communities, namely Moran, Muttock, Tai Ahom, Koch Rajbongshi, Sutia and tea tribes.

During the meeting, it was decided that the committee headed by Mahesh Kumar Singla, special secretary (internal security), Union ministry of home affairs, would submit the proposed modalities to grant Scheduled Tribe status to six communities to the Union cabinet within October 15.

Sources said the Singla committee was also considering modalities to shift the existing reservation for these communities from Other Backward Classes (OBC) status to Scheduled Tribe status to protect their interests for fair reservations.

Sources said granting Scheduled Tribe status to these six communities would lead to 50 per cent population of Assam becoming tribal or Assam turning into a tribal-dominated state.

The Centre was represented by Singla, joint secretary (Northeast) of Union home ministry, Satyendra Garg, and the Centre's peace interlocutor for ongoing Ulfa talks, P.C. Halder.

Additional chief secretary Rajiv Kumar Bora and additional director-general of police Pallab Bhattacharya represented the Assam government in the tripartite meeting.

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