Assam: Tribal body calls for bandh against bill to grants ST status to ethnic groups

  • | Friday | 11th January, 2019

GUWAHATI: A conglomerate of tribal bodies in Assam has called for a 24-hour bandh on Friday to protest a bill that seeks to grant scheduled tribe status to six ethnic groups of the state.The bandh by the Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam ( CCTOA ) comes close on the heels of a 11-hour strike called on Tuesday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. "The central and state governments have hatched a plot to eliminate the genuine tribals of the state," Aditya Khaklary, convenor, CCTOA, said here on Thursday.The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Amendment Bill seeks to accord ST status to six ethnic groups -- Koch-Rajbongshis, Tea Tribes/Adivasis, Tai Ahoms, Morans, Motoks and Chutia -- was tabled in Lok Sabha on Wednesday.The CCTOA accused both the governments for not taking the tribals into confidence while initiating the move.Khaklary said the bandh will begin from 5am and end on Saturday morning with all essential services exempted from its purview.On Tuesday, the AASU, supported by more than 100 organisations, had called a state-wide bandh to protest the citizenship bill Khaklary said Assam's tribals will continue their struggle to defeat this move, which is aimed at deriving political mileage.Tabling of the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Amendment Bill "is an attempt to console the indigenous people in Assam by announcing the grant of ST status to six communities in the state and it will lead to deterioration in the prevailing situation in the state," he said.Security across the state has been beefed up in the wake of the bandh call and the continuing protests against the citizenship bill, a police official said.

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