GUWAHATI: The Koch Rajbongshi National Convention (KRNC) said that the community should be granted ST status without affecting the benefits of the existing STs.
Talking to The Sentinel, KRNC general secretary Biswajit Ray said the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has not yet fulfilled their electoral promise to grant ST status to the six ethnic communities. The six ethnic communities are – Moran, Matak, Tea Tribes, Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, and Chutia.
"To examine the status of the six ethnic communities who were demanding ST status, on January 14, 2019 then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh formed a five-member group of Ministers headed by State Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. The group of ministers held talks with various organizations of the aforementioned communities. It also held discussion with other communities who opposed the grant of ST status to the six communities. But, it has been almost two years; the group of ministers has not yet submitted the report to the Centre," said Ray.
Further, he stated that during the discussions with the Ministers, the KRNC also placed their demands.
"We stated that the benefits of the existing STs should not be hampered after the six communities are granted ST status. The governments should find out a solution so that the rights of the existing STs are not affected," Ray stressed. He asserted that a new category should be formed and the Koch Rajbongshis should be identified as Other STs or New STs.
The body also demanded both the Central and State governments that the Koch Rajbongshis should be granted the status with security to the political, social, economical, educational and land rights of the community. If the Koch Rajbongshis are not granted ST status before the forthcoming Assembly Election, then we will bring out the false promises made the BJP to the public, Ray added.
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