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Agitation from Jan 2021 if 'Sarna Code' demand & ST Status not granted: Assam Adivasis to Govt

Agitation from Jan 2021 if 'Sarna Code' demand & ST Status not granted: Assam Adivasis to Govt

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TAMULPUR: Adivasi Sengel Abhijaan -- an influential organization of the community -- today staged a massive protest in Assam's Baksa district demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the tribals living in Assam as well as a 'Sarna Code' for their religion.

It needs mention here that the Adivasis today also demanded that their Sarna religion be included in the Census. A 'Rath Yatra' was carried out today in Baksa in Assam, which has a sizable population of Adivasi tribals.

The Adivasis have said that if their demands are not met, they will begin a series of protests across India, including blockading railways and National Highways starting January 21, 2020, onwards.

"If our demands are not met, we will conduct protests across the nation and our activists will stage dharnas in front of the DC Offices," said an agitator.

Staging a protest on the streets of Tamulpur in Baksa, more than 300 Adivasi activists raised chants such as "No ST no rest, we want ST, we want Sarna Code," etc.

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The followers of Sarna faith, mostly found in Jharkhand, believe in prayers to nature.

The holy grail of the faith is “Jal, Jungle, Zameen” and its followers pray to the trees and hills while believing in protecting the forest areas.

Jharkhand has 32 tribal groups of which eight are from Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups.

While many follow the Hindu religion, some have converted to Christianity — this has become one of the planks of demanding a separate code “to save religious identity”— as various tribal organizations put it.

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