After approaching the Union Minister of Tribal Affairs and the Union Minister of Law and Justice, the All Tribal Students' Union, Manipur (ATSUM) reached the office of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST) on Tuesday.
The ATSUM team, who are currently at the national capital for the past few days, had already called on the Union Minister of Tribal Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda, and the Union Minister of Law and Justice, Kiren Rijiju apprising them of the Manipur tribal people's insecurity owing to the alleged "illogical and illegitimate" demand of the Schedule Tribe Demand Committee Manipur for inclusion of Meitei/Meitei community into Scheduled Tribe.
The ATSUM team, led by its president Paotinthang Lupheng and general secretary SR Andria, on Tuesday called on the chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribe Harsh Chouhan, at his office at Loknayak Bhavan, Khan Market in New Delhi, and discussed the persistent demand of the Meitei community to be recognised as Scheduled Tribe which at the moment is gaining big momentum in the state.
The ATSUM leaders apprised the chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribe about the seriousness of the demand pointing out that ST status for the Meitei would result in adverse social upheaval not only in the state of Manipur but also in the whole tribal society in the country, once the Meitei community is granted ST status.
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The Manipur tribal students' apex body leaders also explained that the demand for ST status is nothing but a policy of the community to circumvent the existing laws in Manipur to enable them to buy and own lands in the hill areas.
The ATSUM leaders also had a serious deliberation on the plausibility of the demand to jeopardize the constitutional protection of tribal people of Manipur with the chairperson.
ATSUM also submitted a memorandum to the chairperson requesting that the National Commission for Scheduled Tribe should not accord due consideration to the demand of the Meitei community for ST status.