Centre revives talks on ST status
Guwahati: The Centre has revived its discussion with the six communities of Assam that are demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
The Centre has convened a meeting with the representatives of these communities on Friday at North Block in New Delhi. Representatives of the Assam government will also attend the meeting.
The last meeting between the Centre and the representatives of the six communities - Moran, Muttock, Tai Ahom, tea garden community, Koch Rajbongshi and Chutia - was held in April 2017. The meeting, attended by Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju, had extended the deadline for the Centre-constituted modality committee to submit their report on the ST status demand for the fifth time.
The report which was supposed to be submitted by June 2017, is yet to be submitted.
The leaders of the organisations who are invited for the Delhi meeting said their discussion and protest will go hand in hand. "We will participate in the meeting. We are taking the meeting with a positive attitude. But our protests will continue," All Moran Students' Union president Arunjyoti Moran said.
The ST status demand of the six communities, which has faced opposition from the existing ST communities, is mainly spearheaded by student organisations.
Moran said the joint agitation of the six communities in support of their demand will be held on Tuesday in Tinsukia in Upper Assam, two days before the Delhi meeting.
All Koch Rajbongshi Students' Union (AKRSU), which has been spearheading the ST status demand for the Koch Rajbongshi community, decided to skip the meeting, saying it will not sit with the Centre on any other demand without a discussion on their Kamtapur state demand. The Centre has invited the newly formed, former AKRSU adviser Atul Roy-led Koch Rajbongshi Sangram Samity for the talks.#
The organisations, during a meeting in Tinsukia last month, had decided to launch a series of agitation to put pressure on the Centre to accept their demands.
Union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram had said the demand of the six community was "under active consideration" of the Centre.