Mass rally endorses demand for ST status on Meeteis/Meiteis State Govt urged to send recommendation to Centre by October


e-front-__-mass-rally-by-stdc-735x400IMPHAL, Sep 18: The mass rally cum public meeting held today endorsed the demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the list of Scheduled Tribes.
It also resolved to urge the State Government to send a recommendation to the Government of India together with necessary documents for enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in ST category by October this year.
The meeting further resolved to launch different modes of agitation in case the State Government fails to translate the second resolution into action within the stipulated period.
The mass rally was flagged off from THAU Ground, Thangmeiband and it passed through Khoyathong, North AOC, Minuthong and Hatta before winding up at Hapta Kangjeibung.
The mass rally cum public meeting was participated by thousands of people including Coordinating Body of Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (CBSTDCM) president Y Mohendro, working president Moirangthem Nongdalenkhomba, Y Dhiraj, RK Rajendro, P Sonamani, Yambem Laba, Prof Th Ratankumar and Prof N Mohendro.
Speaking at the gathering, CBSTDCM joint secretary K Bhogendrajit highlighted the growing need for protection of Meitei/Meetei under the Constitution of India.
He asserted that Meitei/Meetei can protect themselves only if they are enlisted in ST category.
CBSTDCM general secretary Col Lokendrajit remarked that the huge gathering testified how popular the issue was with the masses.
It is no longer an agenda of a few organisations as projected by some people. If Manipur must be saved, Meitei/Meetei should be protected under the Constitution of India.
The assumption that enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in ST category would create hatred between hill people and plain people was baseless. The campaign is not anti-tribal but pro-tribal, Col Lokendrajit said.
Inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in ST category does not imply forfeiture of the rights and opportunities already enjoyed by other ST communities. The campaign is basically about protecting the valley area which constitutes just 10 per cent of the total geographical area of Manipur. The hill areas which are classified under Scheduled List are already protected.
Enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in ST category can bring more harmony between hill people and plain people, Col Lokendrajit said.
Large number of police personnel were seen keeping a strict vigil at THAU Ground, along the route of the rally and Hapta Kangjeibung so as to avoid any untoward incident.


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