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Odishatv Bureau

Baripada: After spearheading a movement for reservations for the Patidar community in Gujarat, Hardik Patel reached Baripada today to support the ongoing fight of the Kudumi Sena who have been demanding Scheduled Tribe status for the Kudumi community here.

Hardik addressed thousands of people from Kudumi community, gathered at the Chhau Padia in Baripada of Mayurbhanj district, and called them to fight for their coming generation.

"It is unfortunate to know the Chief Minister is relaxing in his office while the community which should have been recognised as Scheduled Tribe since last 60 years is fighting for its rights. We have to fight for our right without thinking about the consequences. The fight is not for me or the people sitting on the dais but for your future generation," said Hardik.

Over five lakh people of the Kudumi Mahanta community reside in Mayurbhanj. They have alleged that Centre excluded them from scheduled tribe list in 1956 and deprived them of their basic rights.

The Kudumi Sena has threatened to intensify the agitation if their demands are not met immediately.

"We were recognised as tribals since 1956 but government excluded us from the Scheduled Tribes list without citing any reason. Therefore, we have launched the agitation for our rights," said a leader of Kudumi community.

Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Development Minister Ramesh Majhi said that Odisha government will check if the community has been provided with Scheduled Tribe status in any other State or not and take necessary decision after that.

Not only from Odisha but leaders of Kudumi community from Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam also attended the mass rally at Baripada today.

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