From our Correspondent
KOKRAJHAR, March 31: The United Tribal Organization, Assam and Jajati Suraksha Manch, tribal organizations in Assam have jointly decided to move the Gauhati High Court against the non-ST candidates who are contesting in reserved ST seats in the forthcoming BTC elections to be held on April 8. A good number of non- notified ST candidates have been allowed to contest by violating the reserved quotas for ST.
In a press meet held in Kokrajhar on Tuesday, the United Tribal Organization (UTO) president Markush Basumatary and advisor of Jajati Suraksha Manch (JSM) Jaklal Basumatary stated that many candidates from non-notified communities like Sarania, Modahi who had obtained ST certificate under the garb of Boro-Kachari or Rabha, that too by using surmes like Das, Deka, Sarania, Saikia, Medhi, Hazarika, which are non-tribal surmes, were allowed to contest in ST reserved constituencies despite interim order issued by the Gauhati High Court that “Saranias are not enlisted communities in the constitutiol (Schedule Tribe) order, 1950 amended till date”.
The tribal leaders said that no authority could convert the non-Boros and non-Rabhas to Boro or Rabha communities for the purpose of ST certificate. “It violates the constitutiol (Scheduled Tribe) order, 1950, as amended till date and violate grossly the provision of Article 342 (1) (2) of the constitution,” they stated. The tribal bodies also alleged conspiracy against the indigenous tribal communities by allowing the non-notified communities to contest from tribal reserved seat. The tribal leaders accused the officials’ concerned of working against the tribal communities at the behest of the State Government which was “anti-tribal”. They threatened that they would not sit silent against the violation of ST reserve quota not only in reserved constituencies but also in jobs and education where tribal quotas were being misappropriated, but they would fight for their justice and rights.
JSM advisor Jaklal Basumatary said not only Bodos but other tribal communities in Assam were being cheated as their reserved quotas were grabbed by non-tribal people. He said the cheating of tribal reserve seats in Karbi Anglong, NC Hills, Rabha Hasong autonomous councils was going on but despite this fact, the government had been indifferent towards the protection of tribal reserved seats.
Meanwhile, the president of ABSU, Promod Boro while talking to a section of media persons at Dotma, said the fielding of non-ST candidates in ST seats was unfortute and the law enforcing authority should carry out a proper inquiry over the violation of ST seats. He said the government had mechanism to check the violation of reserved seats as per law so that no non-ST candidate could take the opportunity to contest in the BTC elections.
Boro said for the benefit of all communities, there were reserved seats for ST, non ST and even for general caste in BTC. He said in BTC constituencies, every community had been given opportunity to field candidates in their reserved seats but the non-ST contesting in the reserved ST seats would not be tolerated and the competent authority should take legal action on the issue, he said adding that the student body was serious on the matter.