The minor tribes in Meghalaya have been left edgy after the government’s bid to exclude the “unrepresented tribes” from the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
The minor tribes include the Hajong, Koch, Rabha, Boro and Mann.
The state is divided into three main autonomous councils in the names of the three major matrilineal communities – Garo, Khasi and Jaintia.
Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura fall under the Sixth Schedule and this makes special provisions for tribal areas.
On September 26, a sub-committee of the Meghalaya government constituted to study the Sixth Schedule Amendment Bill, decided to reject the word “unrepresented” tribes included in the bill.
During a meeting, the committee also resolved that the number of seats in the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC) is increased from 30 to 31.
A delegation of the organisations representing the minor tribes also met Meghalaya home minister and voiced their concern about the amendment.
The groups are- Meghalaya Hajong Welfare Association (MHWA), Meghalaya Koch Association, Meghalaya Rabha Jatio Sewa Sangha, All Bodo Students’ Union, Bodo Sahitya Sabha, All Meghalaya Mann Welfare Society and All Rabha Students’ Union.