Oram’s remark sparks protests

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Guwahati, June 16: The 6 communities seeking Scheduled Tribe (ST) status in Assam staged protests in different parts of the state on Friday against the Centre’s alleged lackadaisical attitude to fulfill their demands.
Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram on Friday morning tweeted that the demand for ST status by the 6 communities – Moran, Muttock, Tai Ahom, tea garden community, Koch Rajbongshi and Sootea – is under active consideration of the Centre.
The organisations protested Oram’s reported remark on Thursday during a press conference in New Delhi that the 6 communities will have to wait at least 40 years to see their demand fulfilled. However, in his tweet Oram said, “Some media has misquoted my press meet.”
At Bhoju in Upper Assam’s Charaideo district, the Tai Ahom Yuba Parishad burnt the effigy of Oram. All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union protested on the National Highway 37 at Dudhnoi in lower Assam’s Goalpara district. The demand of the 6 communities for ST status is in a deadlock following failure of the Centre-constituted modality committee on the issue to submit its report for the 5th time. The committee, headed by Rina Mitra, senior official of the Union Home Ministry, was supposed to submit the report in June last year. The deadline was set in a tripartite meeting attended by Union Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju and Assam Cabinet Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary in New Delhi on April, 2017.
The Assam PCC also criticised the BJP, reminding it how it had promised before the 2014 general election to give ST status within 6 months of coming to power and did nothing to fulfill its promise. All Assam Students’ Union adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya also criticised the Centre for taking a “U-turn” on the issue. (TTNE)