Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that a bill will be introduced in the Parliament soon to give Scheduled Tribe status to six communities in Assam.
Speaking on the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha, the minister said the proposal has been accepted by the government.
The communities that are proposed to be included in the ST category include Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Chutia, Moran, Matak and tea tribes of the state.
He said that the Assam government had been making recommendations concerning these communities since 1980 and the home ministry had formed a committee in 2016 which gave its recommendations in December last year.
“We have accepted the recommendation and a bill to amend the Constitution will be brought soon by the tribal affairs ministry,” he said.
The minister said the interests and rights of existing Scheduled Tribes in Assam will be protected.
Referring to the Bodo community, Singh said the government is committed to fulfill its demands. He said government will take steps to grant ST status to Bodo Kacharis living in the Hill districts of Assam and Karbis in the plains.
The minister said the Autonomous District Councils will also be strengthened. He said a Bodo museum will be set up and the Doordarshan and AIR at Kokrajhar will be strengthened.
The minister said that the home ministry was taking measures to address other demands from the state including a comprehensive land policy, new land laws and marking specific revenue areas and protecting customs of indigenous people.