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Tripura mulls reservation for Muslims in Govt. jobs

Tuesday April 19, 2011 08:44:51 AM, IANS

Agartala: Following the example of West Bengal, the Left Front government in Tripura wants to reserve government jobs for Muslims but is concerned about the legal hurdles, a leader of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said Monday.

"Our government is keen on reservations for the Muslims in Tripura, but the legal barrier becomes an impediment in taking a decision on this," CPI-M state secretary Bijon Dhar said, addressing a gathering as part of the state-wide agitation against the central government.

The West Bengal government announced 10 percent reservation for Muslims in government jobs.

Dhar, also a member of the CPI-M central committee, noted the Supreme Court had ruled that no state could cross 50 percent reservation in government jobs and for other purposes. Tripura has already 48 percent reservation - 31 percent for the tribals and 17 percent for the scheduled castes, he said.

According to the 2001 census, Muslims comprised eight percent of Tripura's 3.2 million population. Their percentage, according to the 2011 census, is yet to be calculated.

The CPI-M, the dominant partner of the ruling Left Front in Tripura, has been organising a two-month-long, state-wide agitation in support of their 13-point demands that include relaxation of the period for non-tribals to get pattas (title deeds) under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2005.

It wants same norms for non-tribals and tribals for getting the land titles. Currently, the law states that tribals living in forest for last 75 years are eligible for the land titles while the time frame for non-tribals is more.

"We have been demanding that the central act should be modified suitably, and reduce the stipulated years so that the non-tribals also get the patta along with tribals," Dhar said.




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