GUWAHATI, July 23 - The All Assam Tribal Sangha today vehemently opposed the decision of the State Assembly to send an all-party delegation to New Delhi in support of the demand for according Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the six ethnic groups of the State. It has also extended support to the agitation of the Raha All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Demand Committee and insisted that the health institute should be set up at the Central Assam town.
The central executive committee of the Sangha adopted a resolution today alleging that the State Government has been neglecting the existing tribal groups of the State and their organisations.
The proposal of the State�s Minister for Welfare of Plains Tribes and Other Backward Classes (WPT&OBC) to chip away some reserved seats from the OBC quota to accommodate the six ethnic groups in the ST category is also fraught with danger for the existing tribal groups of the State, said the Sangha.
Both the State and the Central Governments are hatching a conspiracy to push the existing tribal groups of the State to extinction, it said, and warned that it would resist tooth and nail any move to finish the tribal groups of the State.
It suggested that the six ethnic groups should be provided some constitutional rights, without according them the ST status, to ensure their overall growth.
The Sangha will send a joint delegation of the representatives of the tribal organisations of the State in the first week of next month to New Delhi to meet the Prime Minister, Union Home Minister and the committee to recommend modalities for granting Scheduled Tribe status to the six communities of Assam and apprise them of their stand on the issue.
The central executive committee of the Sangha also condemned the incident of flogging of four Dalit youths by vigilantes in Una, Gujarat, for skinning a dead cow. It also condemned the "unsavoury" remark of a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader against Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati.
The Sangha also demanded that no clause that is detrimental to the interest of Assam be included in the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act of the country. The amendment proposes to accord citizenship rights to those minorities who have fled Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh following religious persecution after 1971.