Demanding recognition of Sarna religion, tribals threaten stir in 5 states from Nov 30

By PTI

KOLKATA: Thousands of tribals from Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam and different parts of West Bengal congregated in Kolkata on Friday, demanding recognition of the Sarna religion by the Centre.

The tribals, who demonstrated under the banner of Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (ASA), threatened to intensify their stir from November 30 if the Centre does not hold talks with them or fails to give reasons for denying the recognition.

“Tribals who worship the nature are neither Hindus, nor Muslims nor Christians. Their population is more than Jains and Buddhists, but their choice of religion is not recognised,” ASA president Salkhan Murmu, a former BJP MP from Odisha, told PTI.

“If the Centre fails to meet our demand by November 20, there will be ‘chakka jam’ in five states on November 30,” he said.

The protest will affect 50 districts and 250 blocks in these five states, he claimed. Murmu said they would not go for the protest if the rights of the tribals under Article 25 of Constitution are ensured.

Leaders of several tribal organisations from the Jungle Mahal region of West Bengal also took part in the demonstration at Rani Rashmoni Avenue in the heart of Kolkata. Their rally affected the traffic in the city, which is already in the festive mood ahead of Durga Puja.

The demonstrators entered the city from Howrah, across the Hooghly river, creating congestion in large parts of central Kolkata amid the rush on the last working day before the Durga Puja holidays, police said.

KOLKATA: Thousands of tribals from Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam and different parts of West Bengal congregated in Kolkata on Friday, demanding recognition of the Sarna religion by the Centre.

The tribals, who demonstrated under the banner of Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (ASA), threatened to intensify their stir from November 30 if the Centre does not hold talks with them or fails to give reasons for denying the recognition.

“Tribals who worship the nature are neither Hindus, nor Muslims nor Christians. Their population is more than Jains and Buddhists, but their choice of religion is not recognised,” ASA president Salkhan Murmu, a former BJP MP from Odisha, told PTI.

“If the Centre fails to meet our demand by November 20, there will be ‘chakka jam’ in five states on November 30,” he said.

The protest will affect 50 districts and 250 blocks in these five states, he claimed. Murmu said they would not go for the protest if the rights of the tribals under Article 25 of Constitution are ensured.

Leaders of several tribal organisations from the Jungle Mahal region of West Bengal also took part in the demonstration at Rani Rashmoni Avenue in the heart of Kolkata. Their rally affected the traffic in the city, which is already in the festive mood ahead of Durga Puja.

The demonstrators entered the city from Howrah, across the Hooghly river, creating congestion in large parts of central Kolkata amid the rush on the last working day before the Durga Puja holidays, police said.