Without having the status of scheduled tribe, the Meetei will no longer be considered as an indigenous community as indigenous is defined as the tribal people of the land, said president of Wakhalon Mannaba Apunba (WAMA) Kangleipak M Naokhamba on Sunday.
He was speaking to the media on the sideline of the 1st foundation day celebration of the Wakhalon WAMA Kangleipak at Manipur Press Club in Imphal.
Stressing on the need of the hour for the Meetei community to have the tribal status, Naokhamba said the Meitei population will no longer get the protection of the Indian Constitution as an indigenous community if it remains in the general category.
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He committed that WAMA will give its full support to the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur in every aspect of demanding ST status for the Meitei community.
Moreover, talking about the importance of uplifting and preserving the Meetei Lon (language), he informed that the WAMA, since its inception, has been contributing its best effort for the inclusion of Meetei Lon in the list of classical languages of India.
He lauded the efforts of the Language department, Rajya Sabha MP Leishemba Sanajaoba and the state government for their immense efforts to enlist Meetei Lon as a classical language.
Stating that WAMA will continue to help the deplorable sections and participate in all the state's issues, the president called for unity and peace among all the people of Manipur and towards development.
The function was also attended by Up-adhyksha of Imphal West L Boby; president of Manipur State Panchayat Parishad, Md Abdul Latif; director of JNMDA P Bilash; associate professor of GP College W Romesh and president of LOUSHAL M Churamani as presidium members.