Hundreds of Kurmi community agitators halted Trinamul Congress’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee's rally as he was about to arrive the Khatra sub-divisional town here for his Nabojoar Yatra this afternoon. Banerjee gave a patient hearing to the aggrieved Kurmi leaders for 10 minutes and then joined a brief interaction with the state committee members of Kurmi Samaj, Biren Mahato and Dr Goutam Mahato.
The Kurmi community across the state’s Jangalmahal region has intensified their movement asking for their inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe status from Other Backward Class (OBC). Bengal, though has given their Kurmali language recognition.
The community now demands inclusion in the eighth schedule of the Constitution of India. Biren told Mr Banerjee, "The state, in 2017, based on a survey had dispatched a status report on the issue to Centre’s ORGI (office of the Registrar’s of India) and the ORGI immediately responded seeking state’s comment and justification on seven points criterion, but state hasn’t responded as yet.” Biren further said,
"The principal secretary, tribal welfare department, had said that he’d already completed his works on preparing supplementary for the ‘justification’ also including additional evidences through a detailed case-study and had submitted his proposal to the chief secretary’s office. But there has been no progress on that too."
Mr Banerjee said, "You’ve got every right to organize movement on your demands. But please don’t cause any obstruction to the patients, women and the weaker section. On my return to Kolkata, I’ll definitely take up the issue."