Imphal, Apr 16: Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee Manipur (STDCM) on Sunday submitted a memorandum to MP of Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency, Lorho S Pfoze seeking his support to the ST status demand for the Meitei/Meetei.
STDCM has been campaigning for inclusion of Meetei/Meitei in the ST list of the Indian constitution and the committee submitted the memorandum to the MP to mark the resumption of its campaign which remained suspended during the Yaoshang festival and final exams of the Class-X and Class-XII.
In the past, the committee had submitted memorandums to most of the MLAs and MPs from the valley districts of the state and almost all of them expressed their words of support to the demand.
Resuming the campaign, a team of STDCM led by its convener Dhiraj Yumnam submitted the memorandum to MP Lorho S Pfoze at his official quarter in Imphal’s Lamphelpat today, around 9 am.
The memorandum was handed over to the MP after a meeting, a press release of the STDCM said.
In the memorandum, the STDCM justified its demand for enlistment of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list claiming that the community fulfills all the criteria for being ST.
Due to exclusion from the ST list owing to a mistake in the early census report, the Meitei/Meetei has been without any constitutional protection, the STDCM said.
In the absence of constitutional protection, there is a fear of the Meitei/Meetei community becoming a minority in their “own ancestral land” and refugees in its own land, it also said.
There is the urgent need of inclusion of the community in the ST list of India as the community fulfills all the criteria of being ST, STDCM asserted in the memorandum.
Once the community is included in the ST list, the valley area where the community settles will be within the purview of constitutional protection and it will bring closer ties among the indigenous communities and will strengthen the unity among the communities, the memorandum also said.
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In the memorandum, the STDCM also requested the MP to help in convincing those tribal based civil society organisations and students’ bodies objecting to the demand of the committee.
Any misunderstanding regarding the reservation can be resolved through talks at the government’s initiative, it added.
Even after the Meitei/Meetei is included in the ST list, a reservation policy that will not infringe existing reservation policy for the communities already in the ST list being enforced in the neighbouring states like Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland can be put in place, the STDC further stated.
The STDCM finally appreciated MP Lorho S Pfoze for extending a warm welcome to the visiting committee members.
The STDCM is 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.