The Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur (STDCM) along with several bodies which endorsed the demand of STDCM for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in ST list on Thursday stormed the residence of minister L Susindro at Khurai Sajor Leikai in Imphal East and submitted a memorandum to the minister.
Acknowledging the memorandum, the minister told mediapersons that he supported the demand and would approach the Chief Minister and other cabinet colleagues to take the movement forward and for sending requisite documents to the centre.
The memorandum highlighted that the indigenous Meitei community of Manipur is presently without any Constitutional safeguard to protect their distinctive indigenous identity and preserve their ancestral land. As a consequence, they are being gradually marginalized in their own ancestral land of Manipur, it stated.
If the current trend, where there is no such Constitutional safeguard, continues they will ultimately be reduced to minority and become refugees in their own ancestral land of Manipur, the memorandum stated.
Meanwhile, minister L Susindro, supporting the demand, told the media that he gave his signature during the signature campaign of STDCM earlier. He said that he is aware of the movement but haven’t received a written representation until today. Taking note of the fact that Meiteis were earlier recognised as a Scheduled Tribe but somehow deleted from the list, he assured to approach the Chief Minister and other cabinet colleagues to take the movement forward and for sending requisite documents to the centre.
It may be mentioned that the memorandum also highlighted that STDCM, on behalf of the Meitei Community has been urging the government of Manipur for taking up with the government of India for granting Scheduled Tribe status to the indigenous Meitei Community of Manipur.
In this regard it is worth mentioning that in response to a representation of the STDCM the government of India had as early as on 29/5/3013 asked the government of Manipur for furnishing specific recommendations along with the required ethnography and latest socio-economic survey reports of the Meiteis for further consideration of the demand which the state government is yet to act upon.
As such, the STDCM along with the Meitei people have been fervently urging the government of Manipur through peaceful democratic means for doing the needful but so far to no avail.
In the circumstances and as also resolved by the People’s Convention recently held on October 13, the STDCM through the memorandum sought patronage of the minister to impress upon the Govt. of Manipur to take up all the necessary action and send the required recommendations without further delay in the interest of the indigenous communities of the State.