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Khasi-Pr seek development council in Assam

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  19 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT


SHILLONG, March 18: The Khasi-Pr populace of the three districts of Barak Valley in Assam has stressed on the importance of being accorded due “tribal status” in accordance with the Indian constitution, even as they spoke about the need to have a Development Council to diminish the alleged discrimition meted out to them.

This voice was echoed during the general conference of the Barak Valley Khasi Jaiñtia Welfare Organisation (BVKJWO) held last Saturday.

The leaders of BVKJWO presented a report, which also related to solving the problems of discrimition, suppression and crimil activities perpetrated by the domint communities upon the Khasi Pr people in the three districts. There are two lakh Khasi-Pr people living in Barak Valley.

The secretary general of BVKJWO, Sebastian Pakynteiñ stated that there are more than three hundred villages spread across the three districts of Hailakandi, Karimganj and Cachar in Barak Valley, with a population of nearly two lakh. rrating about the memorandum placed before the Assam Government seeking a development council and the issue of Scheduled Tribe status, the secretary of BVKJWO pondered on the exceptions being made by the Government of Assam.

Khasi Pr people are not recognised as Scheduled Tribes in their own districts of Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi and other districts of Assam, except for the Scheduled areas of North Cachar Hills and Bodoland Autonomous council,” Pakyntein stated, adding that this “was a gross violation of fundamental rights”.

He warned “if corrective measures are not taken immediately, the organisation will resort to agitation”.

One of the speakers Jone Ingti Kathar, a retired IAS officer, remarked about the cause of the problems in these areas. He told the gathering, “The problem of the indigenous people is self-created – mostly due to infighting among the small communities - which made it difficult for the authorities to curb and control law and order problems in the areas that are devoid of any developmental works”.

Kathar urged upon the people to express dissent over their problems within the framework of the law, and pleaded not to resort to violence whatever the situation may be.

Interestingly, an ardent Christian and a priest, Rev Dr O L Sitang cautioned the people “Don’t allow that your faith to be the deciding factor of your fate. The people of the same community should inculcate an element of trust and brotherhood among the fellow brethrens”. He emphasised upon the people to refrain from the lure of money and urged upon every individual to work for the welfare of the community and to keep away from temporary lucrative offers.

More than ten thousand people from all the villages of Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj districts attended the annual conference. The other dignitaries who spoke on the occasion included Amlarem MDC, S Mukhim, JYF president, P Majaw, Raphael Warjri, H C Lamare and some members of the public voicing their concern for the plight of their people.

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