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Union Cabinet to discuss ST status issue

By R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, March 25 � The issue of granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six communities of Assam will come up for discussion in the Union Cabinet soon and it will be up to the Cabinet to take the final decision in this regard.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified that the Centre had not turned down the demand for ST status made by the six communities of Assam as reported in a section of the media and the matter was still under �active consideration� of the government.

According to sources, a detailed proposal is being prepared by the MHA for granting ST status to the six communities, and the same would be sent to the Cabinet Secretariat soon.

Sources said the matter would be discussed by the Union Cabinet so that the final decision in this regard can be taken without delay. If the Cabinet approves the proposal, the decks would be cleared for granting ST status to the six communities, the sources informed.

However, the sources made it clear that not all the communities bracketed as �tea tribes� would be given ST status. Of the 97 communities bracketed as �tea tribes� in Assam, only 26 are found to be eligible for ST status as these tribes are considered as scheduled tribes in other parts of the country. But the rest of the communities bracketed as �tea tribes� in Assam do not fulfil the criteria for ST status as they are not considered as ST in other parts of the country, particularly in the places of their origin, sources pointed out.

It may be mentioned that six communities of the State: Koch-Rajbongshi, Moran, Motok, Tai Ahom, Chutia and tea tribes are demanding ST status and the State Assembly also passed a resolution in support of the demand and sent the same to the Centre for necessary action. The demand was also raised by different political parties and organisations of the State, while the issue also figured in the talks between the Government of India and pro-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).

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Union Cabinet to discuss ST status issue

GUWAHATI, March 25 � The issue of granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six communities of Assam will come up for discussion in the Union Cabinet soon and it will be up to the Cabinet to take the final decision in this regard.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) clarified that the Centre had not turned down the demand for ST status made by the six communities of Assam as reported in a section of the media and the matter was still under �active consideration� of the government.

According to sources, a detailed proposal is being prepared by the MHA for granting ST status to the six communities, and the same would be sent to the Cabinet Secretariat soon.

Sources said the matter would be discussed by the Union Cabinet so that the final decision in this regard can be taken without delay. If the Cabinet approves the proposal, the decks would be cleared for granting ST status to the six communities, the sources informed.

However, the sources made it clear that not all the communities bracketed as �tea tribes� would be given ST status. Of the 97 communities bracketed as �tea tribes� in Assam, only 26 are found to be eligible for ST status as these tribes are considered as scheduled tribes in other parts of the country. But the rest of the communities bracketed as �tea tribes� in Assam do not fulfil the criteria for ST status as they are not considered as ST in other parts of the country, particularly in the places of their origin, sources pointed out.

It may be mentioned that six communities of the State: Koch-Rajbongshi, Moran, Motok, Tai Ahom, Chutia and tea tribes are demanding ST status and the State Assembly also passed a resolution in support of the demand and sent the same to the Centre for necessary action. The demand was also raised by different political parties and organisations of the State, while the issue also figured in the talks between the Government of India and pro-talk faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA).