ST status plea for Konda Reddys

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By LALMOHAN PATNAIK
  • Published 26.06.13
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Cuttack, June 25: The issue of according scheduled tribe status to the Konda Reddy community living in Odisha today reached Orissa High Court as a PIL was filed seeking its intervention for their inclusion in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribe) Order for the state.

The PIL, filed by R. Srinivas Rao, 56, a resident of Malkangiri, alleged that due to inaction of the authorities, more than 40,000 people of the Konda Reddy community were deprived of their legitimate rights as a scheduled tribe.

“A study was conducted by the SC & ST Research & Training Institute in Bhubaneswar in 2005. The Tribe Advisory Council of SC & ST development department of Odisha government had in 2007 confirmed that Konda Reddys were tribal and recommended scheduled tribe status for them instead of socially educationally backward class status,” the petition, filed through advocate Kshirod Rout, said. Rao said he had applied to the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, who had, in a letter on June 4, 2012, requested the ministry of tribal affairs to take action.

“Although the Konda Reddy community is treated as scheduled tribe in Andhra Pradesh, they continue to be included among socially educationally backward classes instead of scheduled tribe here,” the petition stated.

According to the petition, prior to the formation of Odisha as a separate province, the southern part of the state was a part of the Madras presidency.

During that period, the Konda Reddys were recognised as tribal. Later, southern Odisha districts became part of Odisha.

After Andhra Pradesh was recognised as a state, the Konda Reddys there were recognised as as a scheduled tribe community.

The community’s mother tongue is Telugu, but they can speak and write in Odia. Etymologically, the name Konda Reddy appears to have been derived from the words konda meaning hill and Reddy meaning ‘chief’, the petition said.