Uproar in Jharkhand assembly over tribals’ conversion

March 12th, 2008 - 8:09 pm ICT by admin  

Ranchi, March 12 (IANS) Uproarious scenes were witnessed in the Jharkhand assembly Wednesday over the conversion of tribals in the state. Chandresh Oraon, a Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator, raised the issue in the assembly. He expressed concern over frequent conversions taking place in the state and objected to converted tribals availing benefits of the Scheduled Tribes (ST) meant for tribals.

Lawmakers of the BJP, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and others supported the issue.

Supporting the demand, former assembly speaker and independent legislator Inder Singh Namdhari said: “The central government formed a committee to assess the educational and other condition of Muslims in the country. What is the problem if an assembly committee is constituted to study the condition of the tribals”.

“After formation of the state, the number of tribals has been reduced as a large number tribals has converted and migrated to other states,” said Ramesh Singh Munda, a JD-U legislator.

“The Jharkhand government should formulate a law to ban the converted tribals from enjoying the benefits accorded to the Schduled Tribes in the Indian constitution,” said former chief minister Arjun Munda.

The house was adjourned three times on the issue.

The Jharkhand chief minister said: “The state government does not have the power to formulate law at state level. Any law regarding tribals and Dalits are formulated by the central government.”

The chief minister’s reply failed to calm down the BJP legislators. “The state cannot formulate law but the state can constitute assembly committee to study the condition of the tribals,” said Munda.

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