A demand to accord minority status for Piramalai Kallars was made at a denotified tribes upheaval conference organised by Seermarabinar Nala Sangam at Keezhakuyilkudi near here on Saturday. The conference was organised to mark the centenary of the Criminal Tribes Act 1911.

Claiming to be the earliest tribe in India, the participants also passed a resolution seeking Scheduled Tribe status. All the benefits enjoyed by minorities and STs should be extended to Piramalai Kallars, a resolution said. The meet wanted the government to issue community certificates for Piramalai Kallar students as belonging to de-notified tribes (DNT) as was done in some States. Ten per cent reservation should be provided to the DNT in education and employment.

Their other demands included enhancement of basic facilities to Kallar reclamation schools, setting up premium institutions such as IIT, IIM in places populated by Piramalai Kallar community, provision of agricultural lands to landless people of the community and recognition of the “battle” waged by Piramalai Kallars against the British in 1920 as a freedom movement.

D. Pandian, State secretary, CPI, spoke.

Minister for Cooperation ‘Sellur’ K. Raju, MLAs M. Muthuramalingam and P.V. Kathiravan spoke.

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