JAAC ultimatum to Centre for ST status to tribals of Assam

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Jamshedpur, Dec 6 (UNI) The Joint Adivasi Action Committee(JAAC) today gave an ultimatum to the Centre to accord Schedule Tribes (ST) status to the tribals of Assam by tomorrow, the last day of the winter session of Parliament.

JAAC is an amalgamation of five political and student organisations from Jharkhand and Assam which included Jharkhand Disom Party(JDP), Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam(ACMA), All Adivasi Students' Association of Assam(AASAA), Birsa Commando Force and All India Adivasi Youth&Students' Union(Assam state committee).The forum has been constituted recently to fight for the cause of the tribals of Jharkhand and Assam.

JAAC leader and Chairman of JDP Salkhan Murmu told UNI here that the JAAC would go by its earlier decision of launching an indefinite economic blockade from December 17 in Jharkhand and greater Jharkhand region if the Centre failed to provide ST status to the tribals of Assam by December 7.

Terming Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil's announcement of Centre's inability to accord ST status to the Adivasis of Assam as unfortunate, Mr Murmu said ''This is more of a political problem than a problem of ethnic identity or law and order. Just as every Indian has the right to have freedom so as Santhals,Oraons,Munda,Ho,Kharia, Bhumij etc have got birth right to be scheduled in ST list.'' ''We appeal to the Centre as well as the Assam government to be kind enough to pass a bill in this regard in the Parliament tomorrow or else we will have no other option but to resort to an idefinite economic blockade from December 17 onwards,''Mr Murmu, a former MP warned.

He said this time the JAAC would adopt a '' Fight to Finish''approach and launch a mass awakening programme in the tribal dominated districts of Jharkhand from December 9 to 14.

The JAAC leaders from Assam including AASAA president Justin Lakra, commander-in-chief of ACMA, had already arrived in Jharkhand to take part in the agitational programme, Mr Murmu added.

UNI

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