The Tarun Gogoi government decided to constitute the three-member committees for each of the six communities seeking Scheduled Tribes status, but added that their inclusion would in no way affect those already in the list.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting between the government and the representatives of the six communities — Koch-Rajbongshi, tea tribes, Chutia, Moran, Matak and Tai-Ahom — at the Congress Legislature Party office in the Assembly today. The meeting was chaired by the chief minister and attended by planning and development minister Prithibi Majhi, agriculture minister Pramila Rani Brahma and chief secretary P.C. Sharma.
Brahma told the media that the government would constitute and fund the six committees, the members of which will be selected by the respective communities. The committee has been asked to submit the report, if possible, by August, she added. “We will have six committees representing each community. The committee will include, among others, a historian and a lawyer. The committee will justify the claim of the community by tracing its history, origin and livelihood.
They will submit the report to the government, which will then forward it to the Registrar-General of India (RGI) which had earlier rejected their claims. The onus is on the communities to justify their claim and convince the RGI,” she said. “We will see how it can be worked out,” Brahma added.
The six communities were represented by All Assam Moran Students’ Union, the Moran Sabha, All Tai Ahom Students’ Union, All Tai Yuba Parishad, Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association, Koch-Rajbongshi Students’ Union, Chutia Yuba Chatra Sanimilan, Chutia Jatiya Sanmilan, Matak Yuba Chatra Parishad and Matak Sanmilan.