Bhopal: No reservation to converted STs, demands Tribal forum

BHOPAL: The Tribal Protection Forum, Madhya Pradesh has demanded to do away with facility of reservation for members of Scheduled Tribe who have converted to Christianity or Islam.

A delegation of the forum met Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at his residence on Thursday. The memorandum addressed to President Ramnath Kovind, states that the converted tribes should be removed from the Scheduled Tribes list and their reservation should be cancelled.

State convener of the forum, Kalu Singh Mujalda said that total justice should be meted out to the actual tribals by providing them with the prescribed facilities. Mujalda said that converted tribals were considered ineligible for reservation in the recommendation of the Joint Parliamentary Committee of the Scheduled Castes / Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 1967. An amendment of this kind was also made in the year 1950 but didn’t materialize.

Tribals are close to Hinduism therefore the forum demands that the status of tribals who follow ‘Hinduism and Sikhism’ should not be changed but the ones who have converted as ‘Christians or Muslims’ should be deprived of ST status, said Mujalda.

Former union minister late Kartik Uraon had made this demand in 1970 and had given a memorandum to the then PM Indira Gandhi. The issue is being raised again on the birth anniversary of Kartik Uraon, said Mujalda.

In 2010, the forum launched a signature campaign for a referendum on the subject, which was signed by more than 27 lakh tribal people. The then Member of Parliament, tribal leader Late Karthik Uraon had handed over an application with the signature of 235 Lok Sabha members to the then Prime Minister in the year 1970.

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