SC directive comes in way of granting ST status to ethnic groups

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Guwahati, Mar 26(UNI) Assam government today informed the state Assembly that a Supreme Court directive has come in the way of granting Scheduled Tribe status to six 'ethnic groups' in the state.

In reply to a question of AGP legislator Ramendra Narayan Kalita, Minister for Welfare of Plains Tribes and Backward Classes Promila Rani Brahma informed that the apex court's directive restricting reservation quota to maximum of 50 per cent had come in the way of scheduling six 'ethnic groups'--Koch Rajbongshis, Ahom, Moran, Motok, Chutia and tea tribes--of the state.

She informed the House that the state government, however, was in principle not opposed to granting ST status to these communities and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had already taken up the matter with the prime minister last December.

She said because of the Supreme Court directive, the chief minister had proposed separate development councils for these six communities which had been on a war path with the government demanding ST status.

The minister further informed the House that the state government was considering the longstanding demand of the extension of ST status granted to plains tribes in the state to members of these communities living in hill areas.

UNI MT PL VD BD1533

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