GUWAHATI, Dec 29: A national convention that was held here on Tuesday on the issue of scheduling new communities as SC/ST in India, has unanimously opposed granting of ST status to the six communities of Assam.
Organised by the Coordination Committee of Tribal Organisations of Assam, an umbrella organisation of 19 indigenous tribal organisations of the State, this national convention has also decided to take recourse to legal action if the Government of India and the State Government go ahead to grant ST status to the six communities.
Addressing mediapersons here at the end of the convention, functionaries of the Coordination Committee of Tribal Organisations of Assam asserted that the necessary legal measures would be undertaken to stop the process.
�We will file writ petition before the Supreme Court if the Government proceeds by violating the Constitution of the country,� warned Aditya Khakhlari, chief coordinator of the Coordination Committee of Tribal Organisations of Assam.
Khakhlari pointed out that the six communities that have been demanding ST status are not marginalised communities and always had representatives in the Assam Assembly to espouse their cause. �The fact remains that the Koch Rajbongshi, the Tai Ahom and the tea tribes are very large communities and the Koch Rajbongshis and the Tai Ahoms are very advanced communities having considerable political and economic clout over the State,� said Khakhlari, adding that the State Government recommended inclusion of all the six groups in the ST list out of political compulsion.
Khakhlari also mentioned that granting ST status to the six communities will have serious and visible negative effects on all the STs of the North East and mainland India.
It may be mentioned that the national convention noted that the six communities Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutia, Moran, Motok and Tea tribe do not possess characteristics which define tribals nor is there any study to prove that these six communities are politically, economically, educationally, socially and culturally backward justifying the grant of ST status. The convention stressed that as these communities have been following the Hindu caste system and they have been rightly listed in OBC or MOBC, there is no ground to include them in the ST list from OBC/MOBC.