TODAY -

Cong MLA favours ST demand
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 21 2023: The time is ripe for the State Government to send a recommendation and along with the required socio-economic survey and ethnographic report sought by the Centre for its consideration to include Meitei/Meetei in the list of the Scheduled Tribes, said Congress MLA K Ranjit today.

The Sugnu AC MLA said this as members of the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur (STDCM) visited him at his official residence at Babupara, Imphal.

The STDCM members submitted a memorandum to the MLA and sought his support in its movement for inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei community in the ST list of the Indian Constitution.

Notably, MLA K Ranjit has become the latest in a long list of legislators who have openly endorsed the STDCM's demand which is now more than 10 years old.

Interacting with the STDCM members, K Ranjit said he supports the ST demand and added that it is time to put an end to the issue by sending the recommendation sought by the Centre.

"It is time the State Government sends the required recommendation and data for inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei in the Constitution's ST list," he said.

The MLA said he is familiar with the issue as the STDCM had initiated the movement when there was Congress Government in the State.

At the time, there were differences within the Government on the issue.

However, when discussions had started on the issue, the Congress, unfortunately, couldn't form Government and the issue was not pursued further, K Ranjit said.

K Ranjit further said he is well aware that the STDCM members have been visiting Ministers and MLAs seeking their support for quite some time now and majority of the MLAs in the ruling parties support the ST demand.

"Majority of the MLAs in the ruling parties support the ST demand and as such, it is time to bring an end to the issue.

I am appealing to the Chief Minister and seeking his attention to send the recommendation and the required data to the Central Government at the earliest," K Ranjit said.

The only way to save and protect the indigenous community is to include them in the ST category, he said.

90 per cent of the total area in Manipur is hilly and the remaining 10 per cent is the valley area.

While only ST communities can settle in the hill areas, the remaining 10 per cent is opened to all communities and even persons from outside States are allowed to settle.

Moreover, there is the problem of illegal influx of immigrants from neighbouring countries which is posing a threat to the indigenous community.

The only means to protect the indigenous Meitei/Meetei community is to include them in the ST list, K Ranjit said.

Meanwhile, Pangei Apunba Meira Paibi and STDCM joined hands to form a human chain at Pangei Keithel demanding inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST category.

Womenfolk held placards and raised slogans demanding the State Government to send the recommendation sought by the Centre back in 2013 for consideration of the ST demand.


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