ST status to six communities:  Centre to form GoM soon

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HT Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Jan 12: The Union government will constitute a group of ministers (GoM) to study the way of protection of six communities of Assam- Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutia, Moran, Matak and Adivasis, which are likely to be granted Scheduled Tribe (ST) status soon.

This was decided in a high-level meeting of Union home minister Rajnath Singh with Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) chief Hagrama Mohilary in the presence of Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, tribal affairs minister Chandan Brahma, Rajya Sabha member Biswaajit Daimary and senior officials of ministry of home affairs (MHA) in New Delhi on Saturday.

The meeting decided that the GoM will decide and recommend the necessary arrangement for the protection of existing tribal’s rights and the facilities of new ST communities of the state.

There will be three categories of ST in Assam- Plains, Hills and Others. The meeting also decided to separate quotas for each community. The meeting also decided to keep the present reservation quota for ST communities intact.

Later, the BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary clarified that they have no objection in granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six communities in Assam, but they cannot enjoy the benefits given to the existing tribal communities of the state.

“We have no objection in granting ST status to Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutia, Moran, Matak and Adivasis of Assam. But they can not enjoy the benefits which has been already given to Bodos. Moreover, they can not contest elections from the constituencies reserved for already existing ST candidates,” Mohilary said.

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