Attempted rally demanding ST status for Meitei/Meetei foiled by police

Imphal: Police on Wednesday foiled a rally that was demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Meitei/Meetei on the street at Kakwa along Imphal-Moreh section of NH-102.

A large number of people, mostly womenfolk of Kakwa area including vendors of the Kakwa attempted to carry out the rally under the aegis of the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM).

They planned to carry out under the banner “We demand constitutional safeguards”

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No sooner had the rally kicked off, a team of Singjamei police station led by a SDPO arrived at the spot and prevented the rally from carrying out further.

The STDCM has been campaigning for inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the ST list of the Indian constitution despite strong objections raised by many tribal based organisations, particularly student bodies.

Today’s rally was planned after a similar rally at Khurai in Imphal East district to target the Manipur Legislative Assembly complex was foiled by the police on Tuesday.

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Talking to reporters after the rally foiled, STDCM working president, Laishram Lokendro said that the committee has been pressing the state government to furnish the specific recommendations along with required ethnography and latest socio-economic survey reports of the Meitei/Meetei to the Centre for consideration of the demand for ST status.  

He said that the demand raised by the STDCM should be discussed in the ongoing budget session of the state Assembly. If not taken up for discussion, the committee is ready to launch intensified forms of agitations, he warned.

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Today’s rally was planned only to make the voice of the people of the community reach the state Assembly, Lokendro said. The committee has no intention to create a law and order problem and so far the committee is raising the demand in a very democratic way, he added.

The Assembly session has one more sitting (on Thursday) and the demand of the people should be discussed positively by the house, he urged.

Claiming that 34 out of 60 MLAs had expressed their support to the demand, Lokendro said that sending the recommendation would not be a problem on the part of the state government.

The state government, if willing to address the demand, can send the recommendation any time, he added.


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