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Tribal Sangha clears air over ST (H) certificate

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT

Special correspondent

SILCHAR, Feb 2: All Assam Tribal Sangha of Cachar District Committee has clarified the confusion created by a report in a local media that five organizations of Cachar would launch agitation in protest against the non-issue of Scheduled Tribe (ST) Hills certificates in the district. Tribal Sangha has dubbed this report as totally false and confusing and has taken strong exception to it. Taw Pohtan, president of the Sangha, has pointed out that before coming out with such statement, all these organizations should have visited the villages within their jurisdiction or areas and ascertained the veracity of fact.

It was essential that the representatives of these five organizations should have taken pains to find out if the people of the villages of their areas are receiving the ST (H) certificates issued by the district administration regularly and as per norms and rules through All Assam Tribal Sangha. It was also their responsibility to make sure whether the district administration of Cachar is issuing the certificates. Taw Pohtan has stated that according to their knowledge, the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar has till date issued thousands of ST (H) and ST (P) certificates.

The complaints could easily visit the office of the Deputy Commissioner and verify the relevant papers and documents in this regard. It is clear that the question of non-issue of ST (H) certificates by the district administration does not arise. Such unverified and baseless allegations centering round issue of certificates are only creating misgiving and confusion which is deplorable. Thelish Mar, vice-president of the Sangha, has further clarified that All Assam Tribal Sangha is the apex body of the tribal society recognized by the state government and ratified by the Assam Assembly.

Thelish Mar has pointed out that in the matter of issue of ST certificates; Tribal Sangha has always been cooperating with the district administration. The Directorate of Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backwards Classes, Dispur, has been sending such directives frequently. In order to fortify his statement, he has quoted the order by the Governor’s notification of June 22, 2009 and of Assam Government notification dated May 12, 2011 and January 4, 2016. The purpose behind it is not to create any obstruction in the matter of the interests of tribal communities.

It has been further pointed out by Thelish Mar that the present demand of the five organizations or behind the issue of directive of the Directorate of Welfare of Plain Tribes and Backwards Classes dated May 12, 2011 was against the backdrop of the complaints of some tribal groups like Charai, Sakachep, Hrangkhal and others that the district administration of Karimganj has not issued ST (H) certificates. This was due to the fact that these tribes were not enlisted in the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe Reservation Act. For this, the tribals have been facing problems.

After these groups went for agitation and made petitions, the Assam Government responded to them by issuing the aforesaid directive. Since then, Charai, Sakachep, Hrangkhal and others have been getting their ST (H) certificates. Moreover, as Taw Pohtam said this directive was with particular reference to Karimganj and not Cachar or Hailakandi. The ST (H) tribals of Cachar and Hailakandi have been receiving their certificates without any difficulty. They have no problem.

All Assam Tribal Sangha has impressed upon Khasi-Jaintia Welfare Organization, Rongmei ga Council, Khasi Students’ Union, All Assam Rongmei ga Students’ Union and Khasi-Jaintia Development Council not to go for any agitation without having specific information on the issues involved. Such a move would only create more problems for the tribal communities. The press statement signed by Taw Pohtan, president, and Thelish Mar, vice-president, of the Sangha, was issued today.

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