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Tribal Sangha against ST status to Adivasis

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 21 � The All Assam Tribal Sangha today opposed the State and the Union governments� move to give Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Adivasi people, who were brought to Assam as labourers to work in tea gardens by the British.

Addressing the media here, Aditya Khaklari, general secretary of the Sangha said that such decision would have crucial implications on the socio-cultural and political future of Assam.

�The unchecked and continued migration of the Adivasi population from other States of the country, and their illegal encroachments upon the reserved forests is not just gradually changing the social fabric of Assam, it is also posing a threat to the overall interest of indigenous tribal people of the State,� he said.

�If the government accords them ST status, the entire forest areas and tribal blocks and belts would be encroached upon by them and migration from other States would definitely increase,� he said.

The representatives of the tribal organisations also said that they are ready to fight legal battles on the issue if required. �The people working in the tea gardens of Assam might enjoy ST status in the States of their origin, but there is no Constitutional provision, which grants them the right to enjoy the same status in other States,� said Khaklari. To discuss the legal sides of the issue, a legal cell has been constituted by the tribal bodies.

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Tribal Sangha against ST status to Adivasis

GUWAHATI, Feb 21 � The All Assam Tribal Sangha today opposed the State and the Union governments� move to give Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the Adivasi people, who were brought to Assam as labourers to work in tea gardens by the British.

Addressing the media here, Aditya Khaklari, general secretary of the Sangha said that such decision would have crucial implications on the socio-cultural and political future of Assam.

�The unchecked and continued migration of the Adivasi population from other States of the country, and their illegal encroachments upon the reserved forests is not just gradually changing the social fabric of Assam, it is also posing a threat to the overall interest of indigenous tribal people of the State,� he said.

�If the government accords them ST status, the entire forest areas and tribal blocks and belts would be encroached upon by them and migration from other States would definitely increase,� he said.

The representatives of the tribal organisations also said that they are ready to fight legal battles on the issue if required. �The people working in the tea gardens of Assam might enjoy ST status in the States of their origin, but there is no Constitutional provision, which grants them the right to enjoy the same status in other States,� said Khaklari. To discuss the legal sides of the issue, a legal cell has been constituted by the tribal bodies.