PANAJI: The government, on Tuesday, announced that it will study all the possibilities for notifying the Dhangar tribe in the state as ‘Extremely Backward Class’, under the Other Backward Class category, subject to variety of decisions of the Supreme Court in this regard.
The Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Parrikar, addressing the House during Question Hour said that the government has full knowledge about the inconvenience faced by the Dhangar tribe in Goa due to the refusal of the central government to include them under Scheduled Tribe category, like the other three tribes namely Gawdas, Kunbis and Velips.
“Presently the Dhangars are placed under the OBC and the government would touch upon all options to see if they can be sub-reserved under the OBC,” he added, pointing out that the Pagi community is also making same demand as made by the Dhangars.
The Chief Minister also said that an all party delegation could visit Delhi to meet the central government authorities in this context, but it would not serve any purpose until the doubts raised by the Registrar General of India about this demand are cleared.
Earlier, the Minister for Tribal Welfare, Mr Ramesh Tawadkar, said that the state has extended most of the schemes formulated for the STs to Dhangars, and it will as well consider extending educational schemes including admissions in educational institutions.
The Minister for Social Welfare, Mr Mahadev Naik, said that the Registrar General of India had refused to grant ST status to Dhangars on technical reasons, after being presented with a report on the Gouly (Dhangar) community of Goa as prepared by an official of the post graduate department of anthropology of the Karnataka University, Dharwad.
“The RGI had cited five reasons while rejecting the demand of the state to include the Dhangars under the Scheduled Tribe category,” Mr Naik maintained, adding that one of the reasons being marriages taking place between Dhangar from Goa and Maharashtra, and the religious traditions of both being also similar in nature. Ironically, the Dhangars in Maharashtra have been already recognised as the OBC, while Goan Dhangars are demanding the ST status.
Replying to another question during the Question Hour, the Chief Minister said that presently Goa has approximately12 per cent population classified as Scheduled Tribe, and the government will reconsider this statistics after it receives latest Census data.
The Minister for Tribal Welfare noted that the figures of ST population in Goa are erroneous, and a re-survey is being contemplated in this sector. He also assured that the backlog of vacancies reserved for the ST population would be cleared by next month.