KANGPOKPI, Apr.26: A day after Manipur’s Naga apex body, the United Naga Council vehemently condemned the High Court of Manipur’s directive to the Government of Manipur to recommend for inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei community in the Schedule Tribe list of India, the apex body of the Kuki tribes in Manipur, i.e. The Kuki Inpi Manipur or KIM in a similar vein condemned the High Court ruling today.
According to the Kuki Inpi Manipur’s Information and Publicity Secretary, Janghaolun Haokip, the Meetei/Meitei community, besides being the largest group in Manipur state (with about 60% of the total population, having 40 members out of 60 in Manipur Legislative Assembly), is an advanced community well ahead of many other communities in India let alone in Manipur and for this reason, they have not been recognized as Scheduled Tribes by the successive governments.
He stated that the ST communities of Manipur have consistently opposed the demand for inclusion of the Meitei/Meetei in the ST list fearing the loss of job opportunities and other affirmative actions granted to ST by the Constitution of India to the much-advanced community like Meetei.
He then stated that the directive of the High Court to the Government of Manipur to recommend the inclusion of Meitei/Meetei among the ST list of the State/India is therefore considered by the Kuki Inpi Manipur as insensitive to the interests of the backward and marginalized tribal communities of Manipur and India.