After notification for giving scheduled tribe (ST) status to  Hattee community of Trans Giri belt in Sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh was issued by the state government on January 1, both ruling Congress and the Opposition BJP have started taking credit for fulfilling long pending demands of the Hattees .

Nearly 1.6 lakh Hattees living in the Trans –Giri area have been included in the ST list of the Central government after this notification and would start getting benefits for the ST communities like reservation in government jobs, special grants for development etc.

The development is quite significant as the Hattees have been demanding the ST status to residents of 95 panchayats in the Trans – Giri as area since the residents of Jaunsar Bawar, which had become part of UP and now Uttrakhand were given the ST status way back in 1967.

The community has been raising the demand since 1967 on several platforms, the HP government had passed resolutions in the HP Assembly in the past but the demand couldn’t be fulfilled for one reason or the other.

It was before the last Assembly election the Hattee community became more vocal and formed a Central Hattee Community Samiti and held large congregations of people and even threatened to boycott the Assembly election and  MLAs and MPs.

The previous BJP government in the state pursued the demand more vigorously with the Central government after which Home Minister Amit Shah had announced to give ST status to the community.

On December 16, the bill in this regard was passed in the Lok Sabha paving way for granting the ST status to Hattees.

Since the BJP government of the state and Centre have played an important role in granting the community ST status they are making every effort to take credit for fulfilling the demand blaming the successive Congress governments for the inordinate delay .

Former Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, “The demand should have been fulfilled 58 years ago but the Congress governments failed to grant the ST status to Hattees and even delayed the notification but with the earnest efforts of the BJP governments this long pending demand has been fulfilled.”

On the other hand Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said, “The state government had sought certain clarifications from the Central government and after getting the same  the notification has been issued , I would myself make the announcement of granting ST status to Hattees on January 3, during my visit to Sirmaur district.”  

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