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Six more communities of Assam may get ST status
The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre has, reportedly, prepared to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six more communities of Assam.

The Tai Ahom, Koch-Rajbanshi, Moran , Motok , Adivasi (Tea Tribe) and Chotea communities of Assam have been demanding ST status for long. The Centre will soon table a bill in the Parliament in this regard to render ST status to these community people, sources have claimed.

The Centre has taken this decision at a time when several organisations are cornering the BJP in the state by strongly protesting against the much-debated Citizenship (amendment) Bill, 2016. The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) had, along with 28 odd organisations called for an 11-hour Assam bandh, to which, many other organisations have rendered support later. Besides the NESO, the umbrella organisations of all the Northeastern states students' bodies extended the bandh to all states of the region. During the bandh, some protesters vandalised more than two BJP offices located in different parts of Assam apart from burning down the effigies of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Moreover, in some places of the state bandh supporters burned tires on roads to halt the movement of vehicles. The protesting organisations have alleged that indigenous people of the state would become minority in their own birth place once the Bill turns into law. By amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 the Modi government aims to grant Indian citizenships to those non-Muslim immigrants who had arrived from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan before December 31, 2014 and settled in India.  

As per the government statistics currently the Bodos are the largest scheduled tribe community in Assam, while the Misching is considered the second largest. The Tai Ahom, whose forefathers ruled Assam, primarily the upper Assam region including Guwahati for six hundred years in succession starting from 1228, with their rule ending with signing of the Yandaboo treaty between the British and the Burmese in 1826, is a community of more than 44 lakh people.  

However, other scheduled tribe communities in Assam, who were given the ST status earlier, have been protesting against the granting of the Scheduled tribes status to the Tai Ahom, Moran, Motok, Adivasi, Koch-Rajbanshi and the Chotea. Interestingly, the BJP had promised these communities of granting ST status prior to the last Lok Sabha elections.

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