The YMA leaders said they do not have any issue with him personally and their battle is to ensure such a thing does not become a trend or a pattern in Mizoram.
New Delhi: The apex Young Mizo Association has taken up a major battle with the state authorities on issuing a Scheduled Tribe certificate to a Muslim non-tribal who married a tribal (Mizo) woman.
Sources say the Aizawl district administration in 2018 issued the certificate during the Congress tenure under Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla.
The Young Mizo Association (YMA) and other social organizations are now taking the lead in the demand to cancel the said 'ST certificate'.
A spokesperson of the Aizawl-based central committee of the YMA said they would soon file a complaint with the state home ministry and Home Minister Lalchamliana, pressing for cancellation of the ST certificate. The certificate has been issued to one Kamrul Islam Laskar, whose name was also changed to Kamlova Chhangte.
The YMA leaders said they do not have any issue with him personally or his business, but it's a battle against the abuse of law and to ensure that such a thing does not become a trend or a pattern in Mizoram.
The political parties have alleged that Laskar is the 'owner' of Aizawl-based K R Construction, which bagged several lucrative government contracts, including renovation works of the lone Lengpui Airport near Aizawl and construction of several roads and highways.
They alleged that the construction company owner is extremely close to the state chief minister Zoramthanga, who also holds the state government's public works portfolio and civil aviation wing.
The ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) party leader, however, said Kamlova Chhangte's ST certificate was issued during the previous Congress government under Lal Thanhawla and was also allotted several government contracts by the then government.
The story was that Tlangchhuana Chhangte, a close relative of Kamrul Islam Laskar's wife, Remsangpuii, declared on September 19, 2002, that he accepted Kamrul as his son.
Chhangte even went further that he declared that the name Kamrul was changed to Kamlova Chhangte and became a Mizo through the customary law's 'Saphun custom'.
Several people in rural Champhai district reportedly signed the declaration for Saphun, sources said. It has been alleged that he later obtained the scheduled tribe certificate by using the declaration in early 2018 in the Aizawl deputy commissioner's office.
Lal Tanpuia, a senior advocate in Aizawl, expressed that the declaration signed in 2002 was not valid as a non-tribal cannot become a scheduled tribe by following any practice under the Mizoram customary law.
"The ST certificate is illegal as well as against the Mizo Customary Law," Laltanpuia said, adding that the Mizo 'saphun' custom could be used only by a Mizo by birth.
Under Saphun system, a youth from the Mizo clan like Hmar can change his clan to a Sailo through 'saphun' custom, but the same custom cannot be applicable by non-Mizos.
Social workers also maintain that perhaps the ST certificate was also abused to evade income tax.
Sources say the Supreme Court, in a judgement order on Anjan Kumar vs Union of India & Ors, pronounced on February 14, 2006, ruled that "A person not belonging to the Schedule Caste or Scheduled Tribe claiming himself to be a member of such Caste by procuring a bogus caste certificate is fraud on the Constitution of India."