From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, August. 10: The United Bodo People’s Organization (UBPO) on Monday said that it opposed the inclusion of six communities of Assam including Rajbongshi, Moran, Motok, Chutiya, Tai-Ahom and Adivasis in ST list but backed for separate category so that the existing tribal communities did not get weigh down on their rights and privileges. In a press statement, the president of the UBPO, Mihiniswar Basumatary said the organization would not support the inclusion of six communities in ST list as these communities were far advanced in all respects and the existing tribal people would be deprived if they wereincluded as scheduled tribes. He, however, said that they had no objection if separate category was created for the six communities. He also said that government must ensure that the existing tribal reserve quota including tribal reserve seats should be protected. If the six communities were included in the ST list then they would enjoy all the tribal seats for representation, he said, adding that government should think for creation of more seats for them but should not be given rights to existing tribal reserve seats. He, however, welcomed the decision taken in the tiol semir on scheduling of new communities as SC and ST in India, problems, prospect and threats held in New Delhi on July 31 where representatives of as many as 20 different organizations from the State took part. The semir decided to oppose the granting of scheduled tribe status to six communities of Assam unless studies commissioned by the Government of Assam and the Government of India confirm with evidence that these six communities possess characteristics which define tribal, if these communities are politically, economically, educatiolly, socially and culturally backward to be included in ST list and guarantees to ensure the rights of the existing STs of Assam interalia for political representation, education, employment, land and tural resources and other cultural identities. They also decided to send a team to the north-eastern States for raising awareness on the implications of granting ST status to the six communities of Assam on all the STs of all over India for access to employment, education. It was decided at all India level to take necessary legal measures including filling writs petition before the Supreme Court of India if the governments of India and Assam went ahead to grant ST status to these communities in violation of the Constitution of India and also decided to encourage formation of a united tribal political movement by the existing schedule tribes of Assam to oppose the candidates of the political parties which support or advocate listing of six communities as ST. Apart from these, the semir decided to organize mass public rallies of the existing STs of Assam in the State opposing the granting of ST to six communities in clear violations of the laws and without guaranteeing the rights of the existing STs of Assam and to demand a white paper from the State Government and the Government of India as to how the rights of the existing STs would be ensured in the case any of the six communities or all the six communities were included in the list of STs. Basumatary said the tribal communities had fear that the existing tribal communities would lose their rights and privileges in every sphere if the six communities were included in ST list. He showed just one instance how the tribal students were deprived in the admission in Cotton College, medical colleges, engineering colleges and Ayurvedic College of the State after the ordince was passed for Rajbongshis.