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State government’s move to notify Sarania Kachari as ST illegal: BJSM

Our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, June 7: Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Mancha (BJSM), a tribal body based at Kokrajhar, on Thursday slammed the State Government for notifying Sarania Kachari as ST in consultation with the All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS) and strongly opposed the move. The president of the BJSM, Janaklal Basuatary vehemently opposed the move of the Government of Assam for notifying Sarania Kachari as ST in the State. He said the reported notification of Government of Assam granting ST status to Sarania Kachari was totally illegal and invalid and so the BJSM raised strong objection to the illegal and unconstitutional act of the Government of Assam issuing notification granting ST status to Sarania Kachari without having power under Article 342(2) of the Constitution of India.

Basumatary said issuing illegal ST certificate to non-notified community, including Sarania Kachari of Assam, was pending before the Gauhati High Court where the State government had specifically endorsed in its statement on oath that Sarania Kachari was a separate community and this community was not notified as ST by the authority concerned. The Central government has not granted ST status to the Sarania Kachari community although they sent memorandum way back in 1978. Thus, the Gauhati High Court, in an interim order, restricted the issue ST certificate to non-notified community like Sarania community, he said, adding that the Government of Assam also endorsed this order and instructed all DCs, SDOs and Tribal Sangha not to issue ST certificate to non-notified communities like Sarania Kachari as found in the interim order of the court. The president of the BJSM said this order was violated by the secretary of Tribal Sangha who issued some ST certificates to Sarania community in contempt of the court order. “A contempt of court order case is pending against the secretary of the Tribal Sangha before the Gauhati High Court. Since the State has no constitutional power to grant ST status to non-notified community, the reported notification of the State Government granting ST status is illegal and invalid under Article 342 (2) of the Constitution,” he said.
“The BJSM condemns the unconstitutional act of the Assam government and demands immediate withdrawal of the notification,” he added. He further said there would be hearing on pending case in Gauhati Court on June 8 and the government of Assam had issued notification ahead of hearing just to cover-up its faults.

Meanwhile, the working president of the BJSM, DD Narzary said the reported notification by the State government keeping the National Commission for ST, RGI and Ministry of Tribal Affairs; Government of India in the dark was totally against the Constitution. He said State Government must stop politicizing the issue. Narzary slammed the president and secretary of the All Assam Tribal Sangha for keeping mum on the issue. He also called upon all ST communities to come forward to oppose the move and to fight against injustice.

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Ankur Kalita