Jitendra Singh
DoNER minister Jitendra Singh (Centre). Northeast Now File photo

Leaders of different tribal organisations from Tura in Meghalaya on Tuesday demanded reservation of 10 seats in the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC). A delegation of tribal leaders called on the Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Dr Jitendra Singh and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

In the memorandum, the members of the delegation submitted that the state of Meghalaya has always been perceived to be inhabited by only three tribal groups, namely, the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos. However, there are other indigenous tribal communities in the state as well which have been feeling neglected for a long time in spite of owing their origin to the state since times immemorial.

The organizations represented in the delegation included the Hajongs, Rabhas, Kochs, Boro-Kacharis and Manns tribes. The delegation also demanded nomination of one Tribal Goanbura (Village Headman) to the Council.

The other demands put forward included job reservation in the GHADC for other tribes and implementation of para 1 (2) of the 6th Schedule for creation of an “Autonomous District Council” for indigenous tribes like Hajongs, Rabhas, Kochs, Boro-Kacharis and Manns.

The memorandum further complained that the stakeholders, who have so far been invited for discussion regarding the amendment of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution in respect of strengthening the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council, have mostly been from the three tribal communities of the Khasis, the Jaintias and the Garos. The delegation submitted that the views of other communities should also be invited and incorporated.

“Since the issues raised by the delegation went outside the purview of the Ministry of DoNER, the minister would therefore, take up their issues with the other concerned Ministries including the Ministry of Tribal Affairs and Ministry of Minority Affairs, and also forward the memorandum submitted to him to these Ministries,” a senior DoNER official said.

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