Support demand for ST status to Meetei people: World Meetei Convention
Meetei are indigenous people like any other indigenous people in the Northeast who are already listed in the ST list, the WMC said.
The World Meetei Convention (WMC) on Tuesday appealed to all the leaders of political parties and community leaders of the Northeast to support the Meetei people in their attempt to include them in the list of scheduled tribes.
Meetei are indigenous people like any other indigenous people in the Northeast who are already listed in the ST list, the WMC said in a release issued by it general secretary Yambem Arun Meetei.
It mentioned that population wise, Meetei is smaller than Naga and Chin-Kuki groups in the Northeast. However, the Meetei leaders had wrongly identified the Meetei people as a major Indian community claiming Aryan lineage at the time of merger when they were asked to identify themselves whether they belong to indigenous tribal groups.
This had forfeited the natural rights of the indigenous Meetei people, neither can they claim indigenous rights nor can they be Aryans and hence they can only live in the valley which constitutes 10 per cent of the state and the remaining 90 per cent of Manipur is reserved for the indigenous tribal groups, it added.
Moreover the shifting population has caused serious demographic imbalance and to make it worse there are no constitutional protections of any sort for the indigenous Meetei peolple so that they can live securely among the more than 1.3 billion Indians, the release said.
It further said, considering the matter, the WMC has decided to support the demand of the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (STDM), Manipur urging the Manipur government to recommend to include Meetei in the list of ST.
Further stating that WMC is also supporting the Meetei community in Assam, who has been demanding the same since 2010, it also appealed to the state and the Assam government to do justice by sending recommendation to the Centre as soon as possible.
"WMC works for the meetei community across the states and nations, especially in Myanmar and Bangladesh. We do what we believe is right. We also respect every community. The fact is now Meetei are not rightful citizens in Manipur," it added.