In response to a directive from the Centre, the Manipur government has established a committee comprising all officially recognized tribes in the state. This committee is tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations regarding the inclusion or removal of the “Nomadic Chin-Kuki” tribes from the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list of India.
Committee Formation for ST List Evaluation
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh highlighted the need for a thorough examination of the historical inclusion process that led to the “Nomadic Chin-Kuki” tribe being listed as a Scheduled Tribe. Before providing any comments or recommendations on the matter, Singh emphasized the importance of understanding the context of their initial inclusion. To facilitate this comprehensive review, a committee has been formed, comprising representatives from all 34 officially recognized tribes in the state.
The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs initiated this action based on a representation submitted by Maheshwar Thounaojam, the national secretary of the Republican Party of India (Athawale), headquartered in Imphal. Thounaojam raised objections in a letter dated December 26, 2023, pointing out entries in Manipur’s ST list that he deemed objectionable. These entries included “Any Mizo (Lushai) tribes,” “Zou,” and “Any Kuki tribes.”
Government’s Response and Committee’s Role
In response to Thounaojam’s representation, the Union Government clarified, through an office memorandum to Manipur, that the process of inclusion or exclusion from the ST list necessitates proposals originating from the respective state government. Therefore, the representation seeking the removal of “Nomadic Chin-Kuki” from the ST list has been forwarded to the Manipur government.
Union Government’s Directive
The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs clarified that the process of inclusion or exclusion from the ST list requires proposals to originate from the respective state government. Consequently, the representation seeking the removal of “Nomadic Chin-Kuki” from the ST list was forwarded to the Manipur government for its necessary recommendation.