Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday informed the state assembly that the state government is positively looking into the demand to include the Meitei community in the Schedule Tribe (ST) list. Terming the demand as “reasonable”, Singh said the micro-population of the indigenous people across the state is under threat and that the demand is sought in order to get Constitutional protection.
The chief minister was responding to the calling attention moved by opposition MLA K Meghachandra Singh on the last day of the 7th session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly. His reply came a day after thousands of people took to the streets to demand the immediate inclusion of the Meitei community in the ST list.
Singh said that on last year on July 6, the National Commission of Scheduled Tribes had sought a report on the action taken to include the community based on a Socio-Economic and Ethnographic Survey. Subsequently, the home department had directed the Anthropological Survey of India to nominate experts to conduct the survey.
The chief minister also said that the state government, following consultations with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and Ministry of Tribal Affairs, is positively pursuing the case. He added that a letter in this regard was sent to the MHA on December 21.
Keeping in mind the number of intellectuals and civil society organisations in the state, the government is trying hard to get a consensus to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people, the chief minister said.
Singh added that a resolution of the state government and recommendation of the Registrar General of India are required for the inclusion in the ST list.