New Delhi : Union Tribal Development Minister Jual Oram has assured the Hattee community of Himachal Pradesh of the Scheduled Tribe status for its members.
Oram gave the assurance to a community delegation led by Bharatiya Janata Party’s member of Parliament Virender Kashyap, who represents the Shimla constituency.
The delegation demanded that the Hattee community, mainly based in trans-Giri area of Sirmaur district of Himachal, should be accorded the status of a Scheduled Tribe on the lines of the residents of Jaunsar-Bawar area in adjoining Uttarakhand.
The people residing in the trans-Giri area of Himachal still practice age-old traditions and culture which is different from the rest of the country, Kashyap said in a statement.
Official sources said the Himachal government had sent a proposal to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on May 4, 2005, for declaring some areas, including trans-Giri areas, as scheduled areas.
Among the areas listed in the state government’s proposal are Chhota and Bara Bangal villages in Kangra district, Chohar Valley in Mandi district, Churah in Chamba district, Malana in Kullu district and Dodra Kwar and Rampur Bushahr, both in Shimla district.
Similarly, the hill state pleaded that Barad, Bangala, Labana, Hattee and Dudra Kawaru communities living in these areas be declared the Scheduled Tribes.
The Hattee community is settled in three Himachal assembly constituencies — Shillai, Renuka and Pachhad in Sirmaur district – and has been fighting for decades for the ST status.
A select committee of the assembly had recommended to the then Speaker T.S. Negi on December 16, 1993, to initiate steps to declare the Hattee community a Scheduled Tribe, said a state government functionary.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission, in its 1979-80 report, too had made that recommendation.