IMPHAL | Feb 24

Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) has today provoked state political parties to have their own stand in the present demand for inclusion of Meitei/ Meetei in schedule tribe list.

Vice president of DESAM, N. Edison Meitei made this statement in a press conference held today at its office located at Sagolband Moirang Leirak, Imphal West.

He said many civil organisations led by Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (STDCM) have been demanding the inclusion of Meitei/ Meetei community in the ST list to safeguard the community from extinction under Indian constitution.

Some civil bodies have also demanded that Imphal Municipal Council segment should be made a reserved area for protection of indigenous communities of Manipur, he added.

Meitei/ Meetei should be included in ST list and political parties must consider the demands to save this ethnic community, said Edison.

Mention may be made that general secretary in-charge of STDCM, Keithelakpam Bhogendro had said in one press conference that the committee met the chief minister thrice after a public discourse on the said demand was held at GM Hall on January 11. The committee then had resolved to impose general strike and ban railway construction work but after the state government assured that it would look into the matter, the resolution was withdrawn temporarily.

Edison further said that it is not time for political parties to remain mum on this matter. He also appealed civil and student bodies who are against the demand to stop injecting communal messages among various ethnic communities.

The proposed mass rally on March 3 will start from THAU ground, Thangmeiband and will conclude at Hapta Kangjeibung, Palace Compound.

Edison also appealed schools, colleges and universities to take part in the mass rally, citing “when the whole community is included in schedule tribe list, it will be easy as there will a constitutional safeguard to protect the indigenous communities against extinction.”

~IFP

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