Thousands of members of State Asprushya Dalit Sarankshan Suraksha Samiti staged a demonstration in front of the district Collector's office on Tuesday under the leadership of its president Fakira Jagat demanding exclusion of sub-castes titled Keuta, Kaibarta and Dhibara from the SC category.
"People belonging to Keuta, Kaibarta and Dhibar sub-castes are not at all Dalits, but they are enjoying 80 per cent reservation benefits meant for SC category at the cost of real Dalits. Therefore the Government should delete these sub-castes from the SC list," said the leaders.
The demand for exclusion of these sub castes from Dalit list is long-standing. Mohan Jena, former member of Lok Sabha had proposed the exclusion of Keuta, Kaibarta and Dhibara from SC list of Odisha in the meeting of Odisha Scheduled Caste Welfare Advisory Board held on 21/07/2007. He had claimed that it was beyond the power of Orissa High Court to pass order for inclusion of Dhibara, Keuta and Kaibarta as synonyms of Dewar.
Jena supported by some other members had said that ammendment of the Presidential Order taking into account the direction of the Orissa High Court was a mistake considering the fact that the Supreme Court in the case of Nityanand Sharma Vrs State of Bihar had held that "the Court has no power to declare synonymous as equivalent to the tribes specified in the order.." However, as some other members including Sanatan Bisi opposed this exclusion proposal, the matter was deferred.
Members of the Samiti said they would be forced to take to the streets if the demand is not considered.