Imphal, October 04 2017: Even as campaign for Scheduled Tribe status of Meetei/Meitei by Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (STDC) has intensified, All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM) said it will fight to the end opposing the inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in the ST list .
ATSUM president Vareiyo Shatsang said today that the apex tribal students’ body has been against any move from any quarter to include Meitei/Meetei in the ST list .
The ATSUM president also said that they have apprised the authorities concerned in this regard .
“The Meiteis have no criteria to be in the ST list,” said Vareiyo Shatsang .
The ATSUM chief expressed that the campaign of the STDC for the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list will bring more inequality in the State in all respects .
“The Meiteis are in the general category but now they want to be in the ST list.
There is some hidden agenda behind the campaign of the STDC,” said the ATSUM president.
“What is their interests?” asked Vareiyo Shatsang.
He then said that ATSUM is seriously observing the development in connection with the campaign for the inclusion of Meiteis in the ST list .
It can be noted here that the movement for the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the Scheduled Tribe list of India intensified with the resolution of the September 24 ‘public convention’ giving October 20 as the deadline to the Government of Manipur to submit its (State Government) recommendation to the Central Government .
According to STDC, it had submitted a memorandum each to the then Governor of Manipur on November 30, 2012 and to the then Chief Minister on December 18, 2012 .
In response to a memorandum of the STDC, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India vide letter dated May 29, 2013 informed the Government of Manipur to forward specific recommendations along with the ethnographic reports and socio economic survey reports of Meitei/Meitei for consideration for inclusion in the ST list, according to STDC .
The issue was brought up in the budget session of Manipur Assembly on June 29, 2015, and the then Chief Minister O Ibobi assured to consult experts and historians to take up necessary action if found reasonable.
But there never was any tangible action, STDC rued.
Source: The Sangai Express