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After Meiteis, Meitei-Pangal community in Manipur demands ST status

First Published: 22nd January, 2023 17:10 IST

The resolution was adopted during a one day people's convention organised by Meitei Pangal Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (MPSTDC) on the topic "The future prospects of Meitei Pangal community in

Amid sustained movement of the Meitei community under the banner of Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee of Manipur for inclusion of Meitei community in ST list, Meitei-Pangal community of the state has also resolved to demand ST status for the community.

The resolution was adopted during a one day people’s convention organised by Meitei Pangal Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee (MPSTDC) on the topic “The future prospects of Meitei Pangal community in Manipur” today at Kshetrigao in Imphal East.

According to scholars, majority of Meitei Pangals, who are Manipuri Muslims, started settling in Manipur in early 17th century while few have started settling in the middle of the 15th century.

Despite being Muslims, the Meitei Pangal community shares a unique history with the Meiteis since they started settling in Manipur after marrying Meitei women.

Notably, Meitei Pangals have unique surnames given by Meitei kings to differentiate them from other Muslims.

Speaking to media persons, spokesperson of MPSTDC Masood Maibam said that as the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of Meitei Pangal as a community is being threatened, it becomes imperative on the part of Meitei Pangal as a distinctive community to demand for constitutional safeguard in the form of ST status.

Responding to a query by Northeast Live, he acknowledged that the influx of illegal Bangladeshis or Myanmarese for that matter is also threatening the survival of Meitei Pangal among other communities.

“The Muslims from Bangladesh or other parts of India and us; we share common faith but it doesn’t mean we are same,” he stated adding that the Meitei Pangal wants to preserve its unique identity and do not want to mix up with the illegal immigrants.

He maintained that the committee has been putting efforts to esnure that the Meitei-Pangal community use their respective unique surnames since 2014 as it is one of the identities.

The people’s convention, which was participated by dozens of Meitei Pangals from different parts of the state, also resolved to entrust responsibility of the demand to MPSTDC.

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