ULFA-GOI Talks and Demand for Tribal State Status for Assam

As the pro-talk ULFA ( United Liberation Front of Asom) and GOI ( Government of India) talks is progressing, one demand is creating quit a news which has even been commented by CM of Assam, Mr. Tarun Gogoi, that is demand of giving tribal state status to Assam, primarily to protect its ethnic people from illegal Bangladshi immigrants.

One of the primary demand by pro-talk ULFA has been giving ST ( Scheduled Tribe) status to six ethnic communities of Assam, Tai Ahom, Moran, Motok, Chutiya, Koch-Rajbongsh and Tea Garden Tribes. If they these communities are granted ST status, total tribal population in Assam will become at least 60% of the total population paving way for declaring Assam a tribal state.

It may be noted that, the Chief Minister of Assam, Tarun Gogoi also belongs to Tai Ahom community which ruled upper Assam for more than 600 years from 1228 to 1826. British re-instated Ahom king in 1835 for short period again.

Previously, All Assam Tribal Sangha, apex body of tribal communities of Assam opposed such idea but this time they are maintaining neutrality.

There have been always a popular demand among ethnic communities for protection of their land from illegal Banglaeshi immigrants whose population have grown rapidly since 1961 onward. Many cite example of Tripura where original populations has been reduced to minority and can no longer win democratic elections.

It has been reported that MHA has almost accepted this demand and process has been started to recognise these communities a STs. With Indian general election to be scheduled in 2014, Indian Government may push this process on faster track as it might give them rich political dividends.

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