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Petition In SC Challenges Recognition Of Banjaras As Scheduled Tribes In Telangana Region [Read Petition]

A petition has been filed before the Supreme Court by the Adivasi (Girijana) Employees Welfare and Cultural Association praying that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 1976 recognizing the Banjaras (Lambadas and Sugalis) as Scheduled Tribes in the Telangana areas of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh (presently Telangana State) be declared unconstitutional and illegal as the same has led to mass influx of Banjaras from other states into Telangana, thereby, affecting the benefits available to tribes in the state.

The petitioners prayed that the court should summon the records which led to the order recognizing Banjaras as Scheduled Tribe in the Telangana areas of Andhra Pradesh while claiming that no study, social or economic assessment was ever done before granting them the said status.

The petition impleads the Centre, State of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan as respondents.

The petitioner is an association formed in the year 1992 and works for the protection of interests of tribal employees (Koya) tribes in the matter of reservation of seats in admissions to schools and colleges, and employment, and other allied matters.

In its petition drawn by advocate Ramesh Allanki and filed by advocate Aruna Gupta, the Association said by the 1976 amendment Act, the Banjaras, Lambadas and Sugalis, who are not originally Scheduled Tribes and who have not been treated as Scheduled Tribes in the Telangana region of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh and have migrated to the Telangana state from the other states have cornered the benefits which are meant for the other Scheduled Tribes who originally belonged to the Telangana state thus, defeating the valuable rights of the members of the petitioner association in matters of admissions to educational institutions, appointment/promotion to public services and to the elective offices of the State Legislature and Parliament, which cannot be recouped.

It also said the recognition of Banjaras, Lambadas and Sugalis as Scheduled Tribes in the Telangana districts of the State of Andhra Pradesh has resulted in their unprecedented exodus from the neighbouring Maharashtra,Rajasthan and other northern states into the Telangana districts “for cornering the benefits available to the Scheduled Tribes in the matter of purchase of lands belonging to the Tribals of Telangana, admissions to schools and colleges and in public employment and contesting for elective offices for the State legislature and the Parliament”.

“Statistics depict a devastating effect on the other tribes of the Telangana region in the above matters in which almost 70% of the posts in Government services and admissions to schools and colleges were occupied by the Lambadas and Sugalis, having regard to their comparative advancement vis-à-vis the other tribes,” it said.

Read the Petition Here

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