Controversy over ‘Hatee’ tribe reservation in Himachal continues
Shimla, Dec 4
“The ‘Hatee’ community’s scheduled tribe reservation is largely perceived as aimed at appeasing the higher castes of the ‘Transgiri’ area, on par with lower castes, which is considered unconstitutional, according to representatives of the Gujjar Community in the area.
In a recent media meet, Gujjar Samaj Kalyan president Rajkumar Poswal claimed that over 50 percent of the area’s population, belonging to the SC (Scheduled Caste) community, do not support this ST reservation. They argued that the SC community already enjoys a 15 percent reservation, while the OBC (Other Backward Class) community benefits from a 27 percent reservation. The Gujjar representatives while claiming that more or less the entire Transgiri area is already enjoying the benefit of reservation added, “Even out of the general category, people are getting 10 percent EWS reservation.
The Gujjar representatives, expressing their dissatisfaction for not being invited to the recent ‘Hatee’ stakeholders meeting with the Himachal Pradesh Government, stated their desire to voice their concerns in the public domain through this press meet. Providing background information, they claimed that when the proposal for recommending ‘Hatee’ ST status was sent to the Central government, their community was initially informed that SCs and OBCs were excluded. However, when the Central government issued the notification, they found that SCs and OBCs were included.
The Registrar General of India rejected the proposal to term the ‘Transgiri’ area as ‘Hatee’ twice, they added. They urged those in favor of this reservation to wait for the High Court’s decision, as the matter is currently pending.
They expressed hope that the court would deliver justice, and the government would consider their stakeholder ship when meeting the ‘Hatee’ community again for a review. Notably, the Gujjar community, who have filed a petition in the matter, argued that the ‘Hatee’ community mentioned as a Scheduled Tribe does not meet the criteria for being granted ST status, as there is no revenue mention of such a community in ethnic and community records.
Also read: https://himachalscape.com/transgiri-gurjar-community-moves-court-against-hattee-tribe-status/
Furthermore, they stated that many criteria for granting ST status, including educational and economic backwardness, ethnic group, etc., were not fulfilled before extending constitutional amendments by the Union of India. Advocate Maniktala, discussing the hearing on November 30, had stated that those segments of society who would now enjoy the benefits of ‘Hatee’ community ST status belong to a higher hierarchy and resourceful upper caste.
Prior to this litigation, another petition was filed by the Giripar Anusuchit Jaati Adhikari Sanrakashan Samiti challenging the provision of reservation to the ‘Hatti’ community of the Transgiri area. In this petition, they claimed that there is no tribal ‘Hattee’ tribe in the state, and the rights of reservation were granted to Rajput and high-caste Brahmin in the name of ‘Hattee,’ which is not found as a homogeneous recorded community.
Also read: https://himachalscape.com/legal-battle-over-hattee-community-reservation-hp-hc-issues-notice-to-modi-govt/
They argued that no geographical area could be declared a Scheduled Tribe until it fulfills the criteria of homogeneity as a Scheduled Tribe. According to the reservation policy of the country, the Scheduled Caste and Other Backward Classes already receive 15 percent and 27 percent reservation, respectively, under existing law. However, with the amendment in the SC and ST act, all people of the Transgiri area of Sirmour district in Himachal Pradesh, including SCs and OBCs, will now be included in the Scheduled Tribe list and receive only 7.5 percent reservation in government recruitment and admission to government educational and technological institutions.
According to the petitioner, they would have to compete with the upper and economically well-off community, and reservation in the Panchayati Raj and Urban bodies institutions would be designated to ST instead of Scheduled Caste communities. It’s worth mentioning that both matters have now been clubbed together and are listed for a hearing on December 18.”
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