GUWAHATI, Sept 26 - State Chief Secretary VK Pipersania today assured a delegation of the Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations, Assam that he would take the initiative to hold a tripartite discussion by October 5 next, involving the tribal organisations and both the governments in the State and at the Centre, on the acrimonious issue of according scheduled tribe (ST) status to the six ethnic groups of the State.
The assurance from the Chief Secretary came after holding two rounds of discussion with the Coordination Committee on September 22 and today on the above issue, said Aditya Khakhlary, chief coordinator of the Coordination Committee.
The Chief Secretary also assured the Coordination Committee delegation that he would place the demands of the Coordination Committee on the issue, before the Chief Minister and the Committee to Recommend Modalities for Granting ST Status to Six Communities of Assam, Khakhlary said.
The members of the Coordination Committee demanded immediate revocation of the process initiated to accord ST status to the State�s six ethnic groups � Koch-Rajbongshis, Adivasi tea tribe communities, Tai Ahoms, Chutiyas, Morans and Mataks.
These groups have already been granted the Other Backward Class (OBC) status and they are comparatively advanced than the existing 14 tribal groups of the State as far as their socioeconomic, cultural and educational conditions are concerned. These groups do not fulfil the criteria required to secure the ST status, argued the Coordination Committee members.