Naveen rejects separate hill council demand for Kandhmal

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 25 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today rejected the demand for a hill council status for tribal dominated Kandhmal but agreed to have a special package for development of the people of the district.

A fifteen-member Kui Samaj delegation led by Lambodhar Kuanar from Kandhmal, which was recently rocked by communal violence between the Christians and the tribals, met the Chief Minister and submitted a 25-point charter of demands.

During the discussion the Chief Minister agreed that the "genuine demands" of the tribals would be sorted out in a time bound period and made it clear that the Kui panas would no more be treated as Scheduled Tribe.

The strife torn Kandhmal has been witnessing a bitter conflict between the Kui tribals and the Kui panas over the latter's demand for a Scheduled Tribes status and recognition of Kui language.

Mr Kuanar told newspersons that the Chief Minister has agreed to order a probe into false ST certificate issued to the Panas in the district.

The Kui Samaj, he said, had urged the Chief Minister to set up a separate hill council for the tribals of Kandhmal but the Chief Minister rejected the proposal.

The delegation also demanded that action be taken against Congress MLA Ajayanti Pradhan for recommending ST certificate in favour of the Kui Panas and the CRPF deployed in Kandhmal be withdrawn forthwith.

Mr. Kuanar said the Kui Samaj has decided to move the Election Commission against BJD's parliament member from Phulbani Sugrib Singh for submitting false affidavit.

He said they have already submitted the list of 122 cases of false caste certificates issued in favour of the Kui panas which should be cancelled immediately.

Mr Kuanar said the delegation also urged the Chief Minister to withdraw all the false cases lodged against the innocent tribals in the wake of the communal violence in Kandhmal.

UNI DP PC/src2251

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