GUWAHATI, June 26 � The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Assam Pradesh Minority Morcha today insisted that the followers of Islam in the State should be recognised by their identity as tribes and not on the basis of their creed.
President of the Morcha Muminul Aowal said though tribes like Goriya, Moriya, Desi, Jolha and Maimal in the State follow Islam, they have their own distinctive characteristics. He said to promote harmony and trust amongst the different communities in Assam, these tribes that follow Islam, should not be identified as Muslims.
�The followers of Hinduism are not identified as Hindus. They are identified on the basis of the different tribes they belong to. We want the followers of Islam to be recognised on the basis of the tribes they belong to,� said Aowal, adding that the State has been witnessing a spurt in communal violence because all the followers of Islam are dubbed as �Muslims� without any respect for their distinctive community identity. He pointed out that some political parties have always been taking advantage of this and creating a situation of distrust and conflict.
Aowal regretted that the indigenous tribes like Goriya and Moriya were deprived of all the benefits that are meant for the welfare of the minorities. He alleged that only a particular section was enjoying the benefits of the welfare packages aimed at development of minorities. �It is very unfortunate that the indigenous minority tribes have been intentionally deprived of all the facilities because of a political conspiracy,� he alleged, demanding that organisations like Wakf Board, Assam Minorities Development Board and Assam State Char Areas Development Authority should have representatives from the indigenous minority communities.