Social bodies demand removal of non-tribals from KAAC panel

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HT Bureau

DIPHU, Aug 2: Altogether 24 social organisations have opposed the constitution of a “draft committee” by Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) for framing of new set of rules for preparation of a separate electoral roll for council elections saying that the committee has some “non-tribal members” which is against the provision of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution of India.

The organisations fighting for preparation of separate electoral roll for council election demanded that representatives of 16-member organisations should be included in the committee.

Addressing a press meet here on Thursday, the adviser of 24 social organisations JI Kathar said, “The Gauhati High Court in its final verdict on July 13 directed the KAAC to make laws for preparation of voter lists and conduct of elections as well. The KAAC has formed a drafting committee for framing of acts and rules. But we are opposed to it because they have included few non-tribe people which is going against the Sixth Schedule.”

“Drafting committee can be constituted by KAAC itself. Sixth Schedule must be followed without violation. Only hill tribal people have the right to make the laws and not by non-tribe persons,” Kathar said.

Opposing MLA Dr. Mansing Rongpi as the chairman of the drafting committee, kathar said, “We are not against Dr Rongpi, but since he is not an elected member of KAAC, he cannot be chairman of the drafting committee. We have fought and we have won the case and our members should be included in it. All 15 or 16 of members of our organisation should be included in the drafting committee. This is a golden opportunity and if we miss it then we will made ourselves a laughing stock.”

The social organisations are of the view that the chairman of the drafting committee should be the chairman or deputy chairman of KAAC.

Criticising Elwin Teron’s inclusion in the committee, Karbi Farmers Association (KFA) president Rajesh Tisso said “Elwin Teron once said Sixth Schedule is applicable for only 10 years. This means he is not well versed in Sixth Schedule. Two other non- tribal members – senior lawyer BK Mishra and lawyer Jayanta Chutia of Guahati High Court should be removed from the drafting committee.”

United Karbi Students Association (UKSA) president Ratan Terang was also present at the press conference.

Notably, the social organisations had filed a PIL in Gauhati High Court in November, last seeking court’s intervention for preparation of separate electoral roll for KAAC poll. On June 13, the High Court directing the council to frame new acts and rules under paragraph 2 (7) of the Sixth Schedule for preparation of electoral roll and conducting election of KAAC within six months.

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