Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cong leader demands ST status for Maldharis

Cong leader demands ST status for Maldharis
The Indian Express By Syed Khalique Ahmed

A day after joining Congress as chairman of party's Maldhari Cell in the state, former additional director general of police V V Rabari on Saturday demanded the Maldhari community engaged in animal husbandry and cattle rearing in the jungles of Gir, Barda and Alej be given the status of scheduled tribes as per recommendations of the 1990 Malkan Commission and the Maldharis of the Saurashtra region be treated as farmers as per the laws of the erstwhile Saurashtra state.

Speaking to The Indian Express after holding a meeting of the representatives of the community from across the state at the Congress party's state headquarters here on Saturday, Rabari said the matter had been raised at different points of time in the last two and a half decades, but the issue was not solved yet.

The Malkan Commission was set up at the instance of the late chief minister Chimanbhai Patel and in 1990, the Commission recommended that all the Maldharis comprising Bharwads, Rabaris and Charans castes living in the jungles of Gir, Barda and Alej be given ST status on the basis of their "Vigat Darshak Cards" for their educational and economic uplifting. However, it was never implemented, he said.

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