Kurmis in Jharkhand demand reservation under ST category

Ranchi, Sep 14 (IANS) Taking a cue from Patidars (Patels) agitation in Gujarat, the Kurmis in Jharkhand have renewed their demand of reservation under the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category.

“The Raghubar Das government back-stabbed Kurmis. The chief minister wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to maintain status quo on recommendation made by the then BJP government led by Arjun Munda in November 2004,” Sheilendra Mahto, a leader of Jharkhand Kurmi Sangarash Morcha, told IANS.

“The Munda government on basis of the state cabinet decision had sent a letter to the then UPA government to include Kurmis in ST category,” said Mahto, a former Lok Sabha member.

He said: “We held a meeting of our Morcha on Sunday at Bokaro and decided to step up agitation to press our demands. Kurmis were under ST till 1950 and our caste was excluded under a conspiracy.”

At present Kurmis get reservation benefits under the OBC category.

According to government sources, Kurmis constitute around 10 to 12 percent of the total population. However, Kurmi leaders claimed that their community constitutes up to 22 percent of the population.

Mahto said the morcha would first send memorandum to the prime minister and the chief minister to include the community in the ST category and later rallies would be organised as was done by Patidars.

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