A large number of women on Tuesday took out a demonstration rally along the National Highway-2 at Koirengei area, under Chief Minister N Biren's constituency Heingang in Imphal East, demanding inclusion of T Meetei community in Scheduled Tribe list of India.
Prior to the rally, a public meeting was held at Koirengei Community hall under the aegis of Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM), Koirengei Bazar Development Committee, Koirengei Welfare Youth Club and local Meira Paibis.
As a backdrop of the protest, commuters faced sudden traffic congestion along the NH-2 at Koirengei Bazar, as no security personnel were seen turning up to control the mob.
Speaking to the media, general secretary, K Bhogendrajit, informed that the committee had met as many as 34 ministers and MLAs in demand for ST status, besides taking up democratic demonstrations in various localities and markets.
As all the 34 ministers and MLAs had given their commitment to support the demand, the committee strongly believes that appropriate action will be taken up very soon, he added.
Enlisting Meetei in the ST list is just a matter of a cabinet approval and sending the recommendation to the Central government, he said, adding that the committee has also no objection in discussing the matter on the floor of the House, as the demand is genuine.
Pointing out that a mindset has been created among the people of Manipur that a demand would not be fulfilled until there is an undemocratic or violent protest, he said the STDCM still believes in democracy and the state government so it is resisting from taking up any sorts of violent protest.
Later in the afternoon, the STDCM in collaboration with the women vendors of Yaingangpokpi Bazar in Imphal East had also taken up a human chain protest in front of the market.
Meanwhile, the Meetei-Pangal Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (MPSTDC) had thronged the residence of Lilong MLA Abdul Nasir and Wangoi MLA Loken and submitted a memorandum to support the demand for enlisting Meetei-Pangal in the ST list.