Murmu accuses Centre of adopting 'apartheid' policy against tribals

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Jamshedpur, Dec 21 (UNI) Jharkhand Disom Party (JDP) chairman Salkhan Murmu today charged the Centre with adopting 'apartheid' policy against the Indian tribals and decided to take the matter to the United Nations.

Talking to newspersons here, Mr Murmu, a former BJP MP, said apart from raising the issue at the UN, he would also visit South Africa in February next and meet former South African president Nelson Mandela and Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu to apprise them of the condition of Indian tribals and the injustice meted out to them, which he termed was similar to the apartheid problem in South Africa.

Mr Murmu said he would also invite both the leaders to come to India to take up the cause of the adivasis in India.

He criticised the recent attack on adivasis in Assam when they were agitating for their constitutional rights and demanding Scheduled Tribe status to the tea labourers of that state. The locals also stripped an adivasi girl in broad day light. ''But the most pitiable thing was that instead of initiating action against the culprits, the Government tried to hush up the whole incident and concealed the actual casualty figure.'' He said that while the official report said only one adivasi had died in the violence, the actual figure was around twenty, he claimed.

He said apart from the recent incident of Assam, the Government also failed to recognise the tribal religion 'Sarna'. Tribal languages were not taught in the schools, minority status were not given to the tribals, no protection for tribal lands was assured and several other issues, needing Government's redressal, were pending.

Mr Murmu warned that the situation would become volatile if the Government failed to redress the grievances of the tribals and the adivasis would be compelled to raise the issues at the international forum.


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