Kurmis allege conspiracy in Bengal to instigate Santhals against them

by IANS |

Kolkata, June 7 (IANS) The Kurmi community in West Bengal, who have been protesting for the Scheduled Tribe status, on Wednesday alleged that an administrative conspiracy was going on in the state to instigate the Santhal community against them.

"There is a clear conspiracy to instigate the people of the tribal community against us. The administration is behind this conspiracy. The main brain behind this conspiracy is operating from Kolkata," Kurmi leader Ajit Mahato said. However, he refused to name the "main brain" that he claimed.

The tension between the Kurmi and the state government had been rising for some time, first over the continuous protest programmes in demand of the ST status and then over the recent attack on the convoy of Trinamool Congress's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee.

The vehicle of West Bengal minister Birbaha Hansda, which was part of the convoy, was vandalised in that attack allegedly conducted by the people from the Kurmi community. Hansda, who hails from the Santhal community, at that time launched a scathing attack against the attackers and also threatened to see it through to the end.

A total of 11 persons, including three top Kurmi leaders, have been arrested by the police so far in the case. Mahato said that besides continuing with their movement in support of their demand for the Scheduled Tribe status, protest demonstrations in demand of the release of the arrested Kurmi leaders will be aggravated in the coming days.

"As a part of the demonstration, motorcycle rallies will be conducted to the residences of elected public representatives like MPs and MLAs. We will be shortly finalising our strategies for the forthcoming elections for the three-tier panchayat system in the state. We will go through to the end in fulfilling our demand," Mahato said.

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