Conrad Sangma. Image credit - Twitter @SangmaConrad

Five minor tribes in Meghalaya have opposed their exclusion from the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and knocked the door of chief minister Conrad K Sangma seeking his intervention.

The organisations representing five minor tribes–Bodo-Kachari, Hajong, Koch, Mann and Rabha–have urged chief minister Sangma to intervene in the matter.

The five minor tribes are clubbed as “unrepresented tribes” for nomination in Meghalaya’s autonomous tribal councils.

These councils are in the names of Garo, Jaintia and Khasi, the State’s three major matrilineal communities.

On September 26, a sub-committee on the amendment of the Sixth Schedule constituted by the State government decided to recommend to the Standing Committee of the Parliament the removal of the word “unrepresented tribes” from the amended special provision, The Hindu reported.

Meghalaya Hajong Welfare Association (MHWA) said the move will defeat the spirit of the golden line of democracy that the government is by the people, for the people and of the people.

“The Constitution of India says that the Sixth Schedule is specially meant for the welfare and advancement of the Scheduled Tribes, but the proposed amendment will deprive some of the STs of their constitutional rights in the district councils,” the MHWA said.

The association said it was also speaking on behalf of organisations of the other communities such as Meghalaya Koch Association, Meghalaya Rabha Jatio Sewa Sangha, All Bodo Students Union, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, All Meghalaya Mann Welfare Society, Hajong Students’ Union and All Rabha Students Union of Meghalaya.

The MHWA asked former chief minister Mukul Sangma to clarify if the Opposition too was in favour of removing “unrepresented tribes” from the draft amendment of the Sixth Schedule.

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