Trinamool leader’s ‘Khalistani’ remark on Bengal’s Kurmi community sparks protest

Trinamool leader’s ‘Khalistani’ remark on Bengal’s Kurmi community sparks protest

By Dipaneeta Das: Members of the Kurmi community in West Bengal took to the streets in Purulia district in protest against Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Ajit Maity, who compared the tribal community with ‘Khalistanis’.

On Monday, Kurmi community members gathered at the Sindari intersection in Purulia, reportedly blocked the road and burnt effigies of Ajit Maity and state minister Srikant Mahato.

During a public meeting in West Midnapore district on Sunday, Ajit Maity said, “Like the self-proclaimed Khalistanis leaders, some self-proclaimed Kurmi leaders are also trying to influence the tribal community in demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status from Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.”

Srikant Mahato was also present at the public meeting alongside Maity.

Maity reasoned that the chief minister does not have the power to grant Scheduled Tribe status to a community as per the Constitution.
He further said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already sought an update from the Centre on granting ST status to the Kurmi community.

Maity said, “CM Banerjee, after discussion with her cabinet ministers, has sent a written letter to Delhi seeking an update on granting ST status to the Kurmi community.”


The TMC district president went on to accuse the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “manipulating” the Kurmis. “The BJP is preventing them from holding demonstrations in Delhi. It is just a mechanism to cause commotion in Bengal,” Maity alleged.

“If they accuse us, try to influence the tribal communities, we will not sit quietly. We are not wearing bangles,” he added.

He stated that the TMC government has always uplifted the adivasi community and termed the BJP as a “tribal-opposing government.”
He said, “The BJP is a tribal-opposing party. They are against offering right identity to the Jangalmahal community. Hence, they are provoking them to launch anti-government rallies.”

ALSO READ | Inconclusive: Kurmi community after meeting Bengal chief secretary


The protests by the Kurmi community regarding the Scheduled Tribe (ST) status began in April this year. The tribal community also demanded for the inclusion of the Kurmali language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and for the recognition of ‘Sarna’ religion. The organisations claiming to represent the interests of the Kurmi people are based mainly in the Chotanagpur plateau covering Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.

Kurmi leaders warned to continue the agitation until Ajit Maity and Srikant Mahato apologised.

“Our demand is to attain the status of Scheduled Tribe and get formal recognition of our Kurmali language. During our last meeting in September 2020, the government promised us a decision but it was not met. They deceived us, even today,” said Ajit Prasad Mahato, chief adviser of Adivasi Kurmi Samaj during a press conference held at organisation’s office in Purulia on Monday.

While Mahato said the Kurmi community will continue their agitation for the ST status, the people of the tribal society are not looking to participate in political meetings and processions.

(With inputs from Sajahan Ali, Anil Giri)

Source Link

Leave a Reply