Chhota Bhangal residents seek ST status, hold protest

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, July 1

Residents of Chhota Bhangal organised a protest outside the mini-secretariat here today in support of their demand for the Scheduled Tribes (ST) status as granted to the Gaddi community. The protesters raised slogans against the Himachal Government alleging that it had ignored their issues.

Sippy, Halli, Dhogri, Dagi, Rihadey and Baddi sub-castes in Chotta Bhangal have not been accorded the ST status, as given to all other castes of the Gaddi community. The members of the community allege that they have lost the right to contest elections in their areas where seats are reserved for the ST category.

President of the Gaddi Union Mahinder Singh said that the Gaddi word was associated with people residing in the Chhota Bhangal area of Kangra district during the British times in 1867. However, it was later removed and the people of Chhota Bhangal were bereft of the ST status though they had similar customs and were anthropologically a Gaddi tribe. "We have been requesting the state government since 2017 to treat all people residing in Chhota Bhangal as Gaddis and give them the ST status. The government has not addressed our issues, so we decided to hold a protest," he added.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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