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Indigenous non-tribals of Garo Hills seek inclusion into State Reservation Policy

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Tura, June 16: As debate rages on review of the Job Reservation Policy in the state, the indigenous non-tribal community, living in the plains belt region of Garo Hills, has also joined the chorus calling for inclusion into the state quota.

Former GHADC MDC Sofior Rahman has written to the Expert Committee suggesting Muslims, Hindus, Biharis, Nepali and others under the “Indigenous Non-Tribal Community” ought to also be included in the reservation quota by carving out 7.5% out of the remaining 15 percent open category for their group.

Currently, the state job reservation policy provides reservation of 40 percent for Khasis-Jaintia, 40 percent for Garos, 5 percent for other tribes and 15 percent general category.

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“Though we agree with the state government policy to bring the tribal brethren at par with the rest of the communities, yet, there is no provision for the non-tribal who is indigenous citizens of Meghalaya. Even 46 years after statehood, the percentage of non-tribal representation in government/semi government including school and college teachers is hardly 0.5% till date,” says Rahman adding that the population of the non-tribal community in the state hovers around 1.50 lakh, of whom a majority are muslims.

Terming his community as socially, economically and educationally backward, Rahman said the National Statistical office report mentions that in terms of academic marginalization the muslim community is far behind even Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes.

“If the Government of Meghalaya includes the 7.5% Reservation for Non-Tribal, they may put us or classify us OBC category or Economically Weaker Section (EWS) category,” suggests the former minority MDC.

Also Read: Amidst NEET row, Assam Government assures to provide free coaching for NEET, JEE

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