Imphal: Schedule Tribe Demand Committee(STDCM) has renewed its demand to include Meetei and Meitei in the Scheduled Tribe category under Article 342(1) of the Indian Constitution. Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur (STDCM) asserted it still believes that the Government would take up all necessary steps to fulfill 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.
It may be recalled that a massive rally pressing the demand with 1.5 lakh people participated in a mass rally held in September , 2016.The historic rally demanded inclusion of Meitei/Meetei community in ST list but the Government has been overlooking the same demand. Another protest rally with over 2 lakh people took to streets in March , 2019 .