GUWAHATI, Dec 28 � Several organisations representing the scheduled tribes in the State including the Janajati Nagarik Manch, Guwahati, Mising Autonomy Demand Committee, Rabha Jatia Aikya Mancha, Garo National Council, Thengal Kachari Citizens Forum, Hajong Sahitya Sabha and Goalpara District Students Union have opposed the demand of the six communities for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.
Addressing media persons here on Wednesday, the Janajati Nagarik Manch said that the six communities demanding ST status did not fulfil the criteria when the government of India undertook the initiative of scheduling certain ethnic groups soon after independence.
�Further, the tea garden labourers are migrated backward class community. They are not ethnic group or aboriginal of Assam. And it must also be remembered that when a tribe migrates to another State it loses its identity of a scheduled tribe,� said LN Pangging, president of the Manch.
Slamming the political parties for supporting the ST status demand of the six communities, Pangging said that even after knowing the fact that the Registrar General of India and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are against scheduling of new ethnic groups, political parties such as the AGP, BJP and the CPI were intent on gaining political mileage from the issue of ST status to the six communities.
�The scheduled tribes of Assam will never oppose the six ethnic groups democratic movement for their uplift. To resolve the demand of the six ethnic groups, it is necessary to work out a pragmatic solution that will not affect the existing scheduled tribes constitutional rights,� said Pangging.
On the other hand, the Manch said that any exaggeration of �primitive� stage is an insult to the scheduled tribes of Assam. It needs to be mentioned here that members of the Moran community had recently demonstrated in New Delhi demanding ST status by wearing bark of trees.
�The scheduled tribes of the State have overcome their primitive stage, and we condemn such insulting public demonstration undermining the tribes of Assam,� said the Manch insisting on a public apology from those who demonstrated by wearing bark of trees.