Friday, January 22, 2010

‘Delete converted Christians from schedule list’

BHUBANESWAR: Janajati Surakhya Manch, a forum of various political parties and social organisations, working for the welfare of tribals, sought the intervention of President Pratibha Patil for exclusion of Christian converted tribals from the scheduled category list.

A delegation of the Manch called on the President at Rashtrapati Bhawan yesterday and submitted a memorandum.

State BJP president Jual Oram who was part of the delegation told this paper that JSM had been mobilising both public and political support for constitutional amendment to stop this aberration. The meeting with the President was part of the exercise.

The delegation requested the President to impress upon the Central Government to bring necessary changes in the law to protect the interests of the tribals.

The JSM has been demanding that tribals adopting Christianity should not be allowed to enjoy double benefits - all welfare and service benefits of the Government meant for tribals and the status of minority.

Even after adopting Christianity, the tribals have been enjoying reservation meant for the Scheduled Tribes in Government services which is the major area of concern of the JSM.

The forum alleged that the Christian converted tribals are grabbing 80 per cent of the Government jobs.

Tribal leaders cutting across party lines are members of the JSM. Senior Congress leader and former MP from Madhya Pradesh Dileep Singh Bhuria and former MP Ananta Nayak were the other member from the State.

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