Protestors in hoards took over Guwahati’s Dispur area on Thursday against the Centre’s decision to overlook many communities of Assam while granting Scheduled Tribes (ST) status to communities from five other states.
With the aim to gherao the state secretariat in Dispur, protesters arrived from different parts of Assam demanding the granting of ST status to communities.
Meanwhile, police force has been deployed in large numbers to control the crowd and to not allow them to disrupt normalcy in the city.
Police have been instructed to prevent the representatives of Janagosti Oikya Mancha who represent six tribes of the state and have planned the massive protests, from entering Dispur.
A conglomeration of All Moran Students Union, Assam Matak Yuva Chatra Sanmilan, All Tai Ahom Students Union, Chutia Yuva Sanmilan, All Assam Tea Tribe Students Union and All Koch Rajbongshi Students Union had on September 19 called the protests.
According to reports, they were to hold talks with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on the matter, however, they have now boycotted the discussions to organize the protests.
It may be noted that granting ST status to the Adivasi, Chutia, Koch-Rajbongshi, Matak, Moran and Tai-Ahom communities was one of the promises of the BJP ahead of the 2016 Assembly elections. These communities together comprise more than 30 percent of Assam’s electorate.
Earlier this month, the central government on Wednesday approved the inclusion of various communities in the lists of ST of five states namely Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was welcomed warmly by the states concerned.