The All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS), an apex tribal body of Assam, has warned Janaklal Basumatary, president and DD Mushahary, and general secretary of the Bodoland Janajati Suraksha Manch (BJSM), a tribal organisation in Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), to refrain from being involved in anti-AATS activities.
Addressing a press conference at the Plains Tribal Rest House in Paltan Bazar here on Sunday, All Assam Tribal Sangha general secretary Aditya Khaklari alleged, “We warn the BJSM president Janaklal Basumatary and general secretary DD Mushahary not to get involved in anti-Tribal Sangha activities. Both the leaders of the newly-floated organisation, BJSM, are also involved in destroying age-old harmony and unity among different communities and tribes of the State.”
Khaklari also alleged, “The BJSM leaders, with their controversial statements, are trying to create divisions among the communities and tribes not only in the BTAD but also in the entire State.”
Moreover, informing about lodging of a case by the BJSM in the Gauhati High Court alleging that the All Assam Tribal Sangha was issuing Scheduled Tribe (ST) certificates to tribal people of the State illegally, Khaklari said, “As per the Scheduled Tribe Order 1950, the Tribal Sangha has found out small tribes like Sarania kachari, Madahi, Thengal Kachari of the Bodo roots according to Government guidelines and the Deputy Commissioners, and Sub-Divisional Officers have been providing them certificates.”
He also rejected the BJSM allegation that people belonging to upper castes like Brahmin, Kalita, Keot, who originally wrote titles like Deka, Barua, Hazarika, Talukdar, etc. but later used the title Sarania, have been issued ST certificates as a sub-tribe of the Kachari tribe.
Khaklari informed the media persons that after the case lodged by the BJSM on July 25, 2018, until the next nearing on August 9, the AATS has been directed not to issue ST certificate for the time being.
He added, “With due honour towards the High Court directive, the AATS has halted issuance of ST certificate since July 25, 2018.” But this has affected the ST students, mainly the Navodaya Vidyalaya students, who have been deprived of admissions into schools, he added.
On the other hand, Khaklari made it clear that there is no directive what title a person would need to be an ST.
Khaklari also informed that the district presidents of the Sangha have been asked to enquire on what grounds names of tribal people have been left out in draft NRC.
He further informed that Hajong tribal people have been left out in final draft NRC in Nagaon, Goalpra and Hojai districts. However, he said they were not aware about how many people have failed to be enlisted in the draft NRC.