Imphal, September 18-2020: Renewing the call for enlistment of Meetei/Meitei in the Scheduled Tribe category under Article 342(1) of the Indian Constitution, the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur (STDCM) asserted it still believes that the Government would take up all necessary steps to fulfil the demand.
A press release issued by STDCM publicity secretary Waikhom Ananda Meetei said that their next course of action would be determined based on whether the Government uphold the people’s trust or forfeit it.
The demand for inclusion of Meitei/Meetei in the ST list was raised as early as 1980s though it could not gain much momentum.
Nonetheless, STDCM started mobilising people on the necessity and legitimacy of the demand since 2012 .
But the successive Governments have been denying this Constitutional right to the Meiteis, it asserted.
The incumbent Government has not yet bothered to look into this core demand of the Meiteis.
The Government has been ignoring this core issue and the voice of lakhs of commoners in the interest of some Meetei/Meitei elites, the STDCM decried.
Around 1.5 lakh Meetei people participated in the mass rally held four years back on September 18, 2016. The historic rally demanded inclusion of Meitei/Meetei community in ST list but the Government has been overlooking the same demand.
An even bigger rally participated by around two lakh people was held for the same cause on March 3, 2019 .
But the previous Government, as well as the incumbent one, did not pay any attention to this legitimate demand.
This is nothing but violation of the fundamental rights of the Meitei/Meetei community, it said.