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Centre’s Talk with Six Communities of Assam Fail

FROM A CORRESPONDENT

NEW DELHI, July 20: A crucial meeting between six Assam communities and Home Ministry officials ended in an unpleasant note in New Delhi on Friday with the leaders of the communities expressing dissatisfaction over centre’s alleged apathy in granting the Schedule Tribe (ST) status to them.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, however, said that the Centre is taking the issue seriously. “We are examining all aspects of the matter so it’s getting delayed,” said Rijiju after the meeting.

Friday’s meeting assumes significance as the six communities including Moran, Motok, koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutia and Tea tribes have intensified their agitation demanding Scheduled Tribe status.

Soon after the meeting attended by Union home secretary Rajib Gauba, representatives of the six communities expressed discontentment alleging that the Centre is deliberately delaying the process of granting ST status.
“They are involved in talks for no use. They are not at all serious,” said Atul Ray, the community leader.

“The government (BJP) will face the music in the coming election. They always play with the sentiments of the people of Assam,” he said.
Leaders of the communities said that the next talks should be at the Prime Minister and Chief Minister levels.

The six communities will sit for an agitation in New Delhi on July 30.
Senior officials from the home ministry including Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary (NE) was present. Senior officials from the Assam government including Pallab Bhattachrya, Rajib Bora, Sweety Sangsan amongst others were present in the meeting.

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