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MLAs in Assam demand steps for uplift of SCs and STs

By The Assam Tribune

GUWAHATI, Dec 6: Members of the Assam Assembly demanded that the government takes steps for upliftment of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the state by working on socio-economic development.

During a discussion on Socio-Economic Development of SCs and STs under the Speaker's initiative, a total of 23 MLAs took part and put forward their suggestions in the House.

AGP MLA Bhabendra Nath Bharali said the state government should review all SC and ST certificates through proper scientific methods in order to facilitate original beneficiaries under various welfare schemes.

Ruling BJP MLA Ranoj Pegu stated that the government should introduce community ownership system in Assam to save the land for the ST and SC people and emphasised on the need for a language policy to avail primary education in mother tongue of every community.

During the discussion, Congress MLA Nandita Das pointed out the need to empower women fish sellers of Assam, while AIUDF member Manum Imdadul Haque Chawdhury called for strict adherence to constitutional safeguards provided for the SCs and STs.

Chawdhury said that a caste-based economic policy should be formulated to ensure that marginal communities are able to reap the benefits of development.

"There are many instances of misuse of SC certificates. This calls for action and punishment," he added.

The AIUDF MLA also said that the poor among the SCs and STs should get the first preference in reserved category jobs and admissions to educational institutes, instead of those belonging to the 'creamy layer'.

Raising the issue of backlog in government jobs, BPF MLA Maneswar Brahma alleged that there is "no specific data" about the exact number of posts, reserved for ST people in Assam.

BJP legislator Gurujyoti Das said that the focus must be given on the land rights of the SCs and STs to ensure their socio-economic development and pointed out that many from such communities reside near riverbanks and face hardship due to erosion of land.

He also urged the state government to conduct a survey of landless people among SC and ST communities and for granting of land pattas (deeds).

Kamalshing Narzary of BPF highlighted the issue of purchasing land in tribal belts by general people and alleged that many SCs and STs had faced harassment during the updation process of the National Register of Citizens.

The updated final NRC, which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam, was released in August with the authority conducting the exercise shutting out the citizenship claims of over 19 lakh applicants.

"I request the government to unconditionally release all SC/ST detainees, who are in detention camps and also for prompt action to constitute the proposed Bodo Kachari Autonomous Council," Narzary added.

Rupjyoti Kurmi of Congress called for granting ST status to the tea tribe and five other communities of Assam while Ganesh Kumar Limbu of BJP urged the government for inclusion of the Limbu and Tamang communities in the ST list.

Rabiram Narzary of BPF rued that rules regarding tribal belts and blocks have been violated blatantly over the years.

"The SC/ST communities can never progress if they do not have right over land. No more SC/ST belt land should be dereserved for any purpose. Also, there should be a special commission to carry out a survey of lands acquired in tribal belts by non-tribal people," he said.

Minister for welfare of plain tribes and backward classes Chandan Brahma thanked all the legislators for their inputs and said that the government will release a report within 90 days on the issue. - PTI

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MLAs in Assam demand steps for uplift of SCs and STs

GUWAHATI, Dec 6: Members of the Assam Assembly demanded that the government takes steps for upliftment of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the state by working on socio-economic development.

During a discussion on Socio-Economic Development of SCs and STs under the Speaker's initiative, a total of 23 MLAs took part and put forward their suggestions in the House.

AGP MLA Bhabendra Nath Bharali said the state government should review all SC and ST certificates through proper scientific methods in order to facilitate original beneficiaries under various welfare schemes.

Ruling BJP MLA Ranoj Pegu stated that the government should introduce community ownership system in Assam to save the land for the ST and SC people and emphasised on the need for a language policy to avail primary education in mother tongue of every community.

During the discussion, Congress MLA Nandita Das pointed out the need to empower women fish sellers of Assam, while AIUDF member Manum Imdadul Haque Chawdhury called for strict adherence to constitutional safeguards provided for the SCs and STs.

Chawdhury said that a caste-based economic policy should be formulated to ensure that marginal communities are able to reap the benefits of development.

"There are many instances of misuse of SC certificates. This calls for action and punishment," he added.

The AIUDF MLA also said that the poor among the SCs and STs should get the first preference in reserved category jobs and admissions to educational institutes, instead of those belonging to the 'creamy layer'.

Raising the issue of backlog in government jobs, BPF MLA Maneswar Brahma alleged that there is "no specific data" about the exact number of posts, reserved for ST people in Assam.

BJP legislator Gurujyoti Das said that the focus must be given on the land rights of the SCs and STs to ensure their socio-economic development and pointed out that many from such communities reside near riverbanks and face hardship due to erosion of land.

He also urged the state government to conduct a survey of landless people among SC and ST communities and for granting of land pattas (deeds).

Kamalshing Narzary of BPF highlighted the issue of purchasing land in tribal belts by general people and alleged that many SCs and STs had faced harassment during the updation process of the National Register of Citizens.

The updated final NRC, which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam, was released in August with the authority conducting the exercise shutting out the citizenship claims of over 19 lakh applicants.

"I request the government to unconditionally release all SC/ST detainees, who are in detention camps and also for prompt action to constitute the proposed Bodo Kachari Autonomous Council," Narzary added.

Rupjyoti Kurmi of Congress called for granting ST status to the tea tribe and five other communities of Assam while Ganesh Kumar Limbu of BJP urged the government for inclusion of the Limbu and Tamang communities in the ST list.

Rabiram Narzary of BPF rued that rules regarding tribal belts and blocks have been violated blatantly over the years.

"The SC/ST communities can never progress if they do not have right over land. No more SC/ST belt land should be dereserved for any purpose. Also, there should be a special commission to carry out a survey of lands acquired in tribal belts by non-tribal people," he said.

Minister for welfare of plain tribes and backward classes Chandan Brahma thanked all the legislators for their inputs and said that the government will release a report within 90 days on the issue. - PTI