TODAY -

STDCM states stand on ST demand
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 30 2020: Stating that the KKL's assertion for granting ST status to Meitei/Meetei before a final deal is sealed between the Government of India and NSCN (IM) had certain elements which can project the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur (STDCM) in the wrong light, the STDCM has clarified that its demand (ST status) would not compromise any State issue nor would the demand be used as a bargaining chip in dealing with any other issue.

A statement issued by STDCM pointed out that the demand for enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in the ST category is the Constitutional demand of a community.

It is a Constitutional right guaranteed to the Meitei/Meetei as an indigenous community.

The demand for ST status would not compromise any State issue nor shall it be used as a bargaining chip to deal with any other issue, the STDCM asserted.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the State in March this year, the movement of enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in the ST category has been somewhat slowed down.

In the meantime, there have been numerous reports about the Government of India's eagerness to seal an agreement with NSCN (IM).

As such, STDCM has been deliberately keeping the demand for ST status off the spotlight for fear that any vigorous push may be misinterpreted as a bargaining manoeuvre, it clarified.

Nonetheless, the STDCM has been always preparing to resume the movement at an appropriate time.

Saying that it has not forgotten the commitment given by the State Government on the demand, it urged the Government to take up necessary measures in line with its own commitment.

Even as the Meitei/Meetei community of Assam has been struggling hard to get themselves enlisted in ST category, they are still denied this Constitutional safeguard because the Meitei/Meetei community of Manipur has not been given ST status.

Because of the Government of Manipur's failure to take up necessary steps to enlist Meitei/Meetei community in ST list, the entire Meitei/Meetei community of both Manipur and outside are staring at a very bleak future, STDCM decried.

For all these reasons, the State Government must work sincerely to resolve the issue in line with the commitment it gave earlier, it asserted.

It then appealed to all organisations which support the demand for enlisting Meitei/Meetei in the ST list to communicate and work together with the STDCM.


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