ST Status: GoM holds first meeting


The five-member Group of Ministers (GoM) formed under the chairmanship of Assam Finance, Health and PWD minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to fast track awarding of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to six communities of the State held its first meeting at the secretariat complex in Dispur, Guwahati.

Apart from Himanta Biswa Sarma, other members of the GoM – Chandan Brahma who was named convenor along with the other three members Naba Doley, Topon Kumar Gogoi and Pallab Lochan Das – were present in the meeting.

The GoM, in its first meeting, decided to hold discussions with representatives of the Tribal Sangha, the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), other autonomous councils as well as representatives of the six communities who will now be given tribal status.

“We will hold discussions with the Tribal Sangha on Jan 28, with representatives of the BTC on Jan 29 and the other autonomous councils on Jan 30,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said.

“We will then in the next three-od days hold consultations with representatives of the six communities and try to submit our report by Feb 15,” Sarma added.

The decision to form the GoM was taken at a meeting Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh held with Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, BPF supremo and BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary and BPF Rajya Sabha MP Biswajit Daimary in New Delhi earlier this month.

The committee was formed to look into modalities to implement the constitutional amendment bill to award tribal status to the six communities — Matak, Moran, Chutia, Koch-Rajbangshi, Tai-Ahom and the Adivasi/Tea Tribes.