DIMORIA/GUWAHATI: The Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organizations of Assam (CCTOA) has warned the Centre and the State Government that the Bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha for according ST status to the six ethnic groups of Assam may lead to fratricidal clashes in the State.
The six ethnic groups of Assam that are being accorded ST status are Morans, Muttaks, Chutias, Tea Tribes, Koch-Rajbongshis and Tai Ahoms. In support of their demand for withdrawal of the ST Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the CCTOA took out a protest rally at Sonapur on the outskirts of Guwahati on Wednesday.
Addressing the rally, CCTOA chief convener Aditya Khakhlari said: “We’re not against the development of the six ethnic groups in question. However, the Central government is out to accord them ST status by keeping all parties, organizations and people of Assam in dark. However, we’re not going to let that happen. If the facilities of the existing STs of Assam are curtailed due to bringing more ethnic groups in the State under the ST bracket, we’re going to accept. The six communities in questions are OBCs and they’re advanced in all respects.”
Khakhlari said: “This is a conspiracy on the part of the Central government for winning the coming Lok Sabha election. This conspiracy, if allowed to success, will spell disaster for the existing the STs of Assam. If the governments at the Centre and in the State don’t take measures to withdraw the ST Bill, Assam may witness fratricidal clashes.” The rally was also attended by All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) president Promod Bora, Rabha-Rasong autonomous Council (ARHA) executive member Tankeswar Rabha and others. It was attended by around 10,000 people.
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