A day after the United Naga Council (UNC) vehemently condemned the Manipur High Court’s directive to the Government of Manipur to recommend for inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei community in the Schedule Tribe list of India, the apex body of the Kuki tribes in Manipur, i.e. The Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) has on Wednesday condemned the High Court ruling.
According to the Kuki Inpi Manipur's Information and Publicity Secretary, Janghaolun Haokip, the Meetei/Meitei community, besides being the largest group in Manipur state (with about 60 per cent of the total population, having 40 members out of 60 in Manipur Legislative Assembly), is an advanced community well ahead of many other communities in India let alone in Manipur and for this reason, they have not been recognised as Scheduled Tribes by the successive governments.
He stated that the ST communities of Manipur have consistently opposed the demand for inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei in the ST list fearing the loss of job opportunities and other affirmative actions granted to ST by the Constitution of India to the much-advanced community like Meetei.
He then stated that the directive of the Manipur High Court to the state government to recommend the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei among the ST list of the state/India is therefore considered by the Kuki Inpi Manipur as insensitive to the interests of the backward and marginalised tribal communities of Manipur and India.