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Tribals to float national political party

December 29, 2007 14:18 IST

The Joint Adivasi Action Committee, a national-level conglomerate of groups representing the tribal community, on Saturday announced the floating of its own national-level political party next year to give 'voice to the voiceless tribals'.

The JAAC also called for an indefinite economic blockade in Assam, Jharkhand and greater Jharkhand from January 27 to demand among others inclusion of the community in Assam and Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

The JAAC chief convener and former parliamentarian Salkhan Murmu said, "We (the tribals) will now form a national-level political party as we have realized that self-help is the best help and any political party in the country is not interested in the welfare of our community."

The party will be launched next year and will contest the Lok Sabha polls in 2009.
Murmu, who is also the chairman of the Jharkhand Disom Party, said, "Politicians do not seem to consider tribals as fellow human beings. We will have to fight for a pride of place in the society." 

He informed that the decision to float the new political party exclusive for tribals was taken in a meeting of the JAAC held in Guwahati on Thursday.

Accusing the central and state governments of indulging in apartheid against the tribals, he said the JAAC will approach the United Nations, Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa by February and call for international campaign for equal rights for Adivasis in India in the light of Indian Constitution. 

He said the indefinite economic blockade had been called from January 27 next to press for the demand for ST status to adivasis in Assam and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The blockade is likely to effect the Tata units in Jamshedpur, entry points into Assam from West Bengal at Srirampur and Boxirhat and also the Indo-Bhutan border.

    "We will, however,  give time to the government to think and act  accordingly once they feel the impact of our blockade and realize our contribution to the  economy of the nation," Mr Murmu adding that  the government must to stop the displacement of Adivasis in the name of economic development

The JAAC also demanded a high level enquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge into the November 24 incident in Guwahati, when clashes between Adivasi rallists and locals left one dead and 250 injured besides stripping of a teen-aged Adivasi girl.

The JAAC, in the meeting held on Thursday, resolved to go ahead with its earlier decision to boycott the Panchayat election in Assam to register its protest against the non-scheduling of tribals in the state.

Representatives of Adivasi Cobra Military of Assam, All India Adivasi Youth and Students' Union, Birsa Commando Force, Assam Tea Tribes Students' Association and All Adivasi Students' Association of Assam, among others, were present at the meeting.

K Anurag in Guwahati