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Kalita community demands tribal status

By Correspondents

BONGAIGAON, July 25 - The Kalita Janagosthi Sanmilan, Asom, an organisation of the Kalita community, demanded tribal status by submitting memoranda to the Prime Minister and the Assam Governor through the Bongaigaon Deputy Commissioner on Friday. Members of the body also took out a procession here.

In the memorandum to the Prime Minister, the Sanmilan maintained that mere enlistment of the six communities seeking ST status would not solve the vital issues confronting the State unless it is declared a �tribal State� by according tribal status to all indigenous groups, including the Kalita community, through an amendment of the Constitution, if necessary. The tribal status to the State will end illegal influx and encroachment on land by migrants, the memorandum added.

As the Kalita community bears all tribal traits, it deserves a place in the ST list under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution, the Sanmilan claimed. The community, which has a population of around 80 lakh, also demanded reservations in the Assembly and Parliament for political representation and land rights in the State.

Tinsukia: The Tinsukia district committee of the Kalita Janagosthi Sanmilan, Asom, staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner�s office complex in Tinsukia on Friday, demanding fulfilment of a 11-point charter of demands, including ST status for the Kalita community of Assam.

The other demands include implementation of the Tiwari Commission report for the development and safeguard of Assamese people, and proportionate representation of the Kalita people in the proposed Upper House of the Assam Assembly and the Rajya Sabha. In the Parliament, the State�s representation must be reserved for the �sons of the soil.� Also, land rights and political representation in the existing Sixth Schedule areas must be reserved for �all sons of the soil of Assam.� The committee submitted a memorandum in this respect to the Governor of Assam through the Tinsukia Deputy Commissioner.

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