Shastry V. Mallady

MADURAI: The National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes has asked the Centre to set up a permanent commission for denotified tribes.

The commission, working under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, will submit its final report within a month, Meena Radhakrishna, Director (Research), told The Hindu on Wednesday.

People belonging to the denotified tribes continued to suffer civil and police harassment in various States. “There are around six crore people belonging to the denotified tribes. Several of them face problems of livelihood,” she said.

Change in syllabus

Dr. Meena, who was here to take part in a seminar on the Criminal Tribes Act organised by Madurai Kamaraj University, said the interim report submitted to the Government a year ago highlighted the need for changing the syllabus of the National Police Academy, Hyderabad, especially on handling of the denotified tribes.

On reading the Criminal Tribes Act, a few police officials carried the impression that people of these tribes were criminals. The commission prepared its final report based on personal visits, meetings, case studies across the country and petitions received from the affected people, she said.