Adivasis (‘tea tribe’) seek ST status by December

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UDALGURI, Nov 24:

“The Adivasis are an indigenous community of this country, but till date they have been suppressed and exploited by the ruling parties, be it in a State or in the Centre. But we are now conscious enough to seek our constitutional rights in the form of ST status. We warn the government to accord us the ST status by December or get ready to face the music,” thus said Laxmi Orang, the main victim of harassment during the infamous Beltola incident in Guwahati in 2007.She was addressing a huge congregation of the Adivasi people here that was organised by the Udalguri district committee of the All Adivasi Students Association of Assam (AASAA) on the premises of the Bishnu Rabha Kristi Sangha here today.

Referring to the next steps to be taken up by the Adivasi community, Laxmi Orang later told this correspondent that from December, she would go for an indefinite hunger strike at the Dispur Last Gate first and then at the Jantar Mantar, New Delhi to register the protest of injustice to this aboriginal tribe of the State.

She hoped that the Adivasi people of the State, including the student organisations and other social organisations of the community, would accord their full support in her initiative to get due rights.

The public meeting, chaired by Prabhat Panika, president of the Udalguri district committee of the AASAA, was also addressed by Pradip Nag, acting president of the central committee of the student organisation. Nag criticised the State Government for its conspiracy to label the Adivasis as tea tribes.

“How can the Adivasis be tea tribes? Serving in the tea gardens is merely a profession, it can be practised by anybody and as such the persons cannot be given a tag of community in the form of Adivasi. The government must understand this difference and take steps to accord ST status to the Adivasis of the State,” Panika said.

The meeting was also addressed by several other leaders of the student organization.

Source: The Assam Tribune, November 25, 2015.

Photo: Assam Times

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