The move will be contrary to the Apex court ruling

The Dakshina Kannada Zilla Dalita Sanghatanegala Okkuta has objected the move of the State Government to issue Scheduled Caste (SC) certificates to Sri Lankan repatriates settled in Sullia and Puttur.

Talking to reporters here on Thursday, C.H. Bhaskar, a member of the Okkuta, said the move of the State Government would be contrary to apex court ruling that states the criterion for identification of repatriates entitled for the certificates. The apex court ruling (1990) states that only members of families, who resided in a place in the country as on the date of notification by the President in 1950, are eligible for the SC certificates.

Mr. Bhaskar said the Sri Lankan repatriates settled in Sullia and Puttur in 1972. Members of these families could not be granted SC certificates. If the State government went ahead with the issuance of SC certificates, there would be a similar demand from Tibetans and Bangladeshis who had settled in the State. “The SC certificates, if issued, will hurt the SCs here, who find it hard to get benefits of reservation,” he said.

Mr. Bhaskar said if the State government wanted to issue SC certificates to Sri Lankan repatriates they needed to do an ethnography study of the repatriates to learn about their social and economic status.

Few days ago the cabinet decided to look into the demand of Sri Lankan repatriates for resumption of the issuance of SC certificates that was stopped in 2002. Nearly, 1,000 Tamil families repatriated from Sri Lanka, Burma, and Vietnam under Indo-Ceylon Agreement 1964 and 1974 had settled and were rehabilitated in the rubber plantations in Sullia and Puttur taluks. These families contend they were repatriates and not refugees as they had been living in India since 1964.

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