The Centre has asked the Manipur government to examine a representation seeking the removal of the “Nomadic Chin-Kuki” from the list of Scheduled Tribes in the state, The Hindu reported on Monday.

The representation was made by Maheshwar Thounaojam, the Imphal-based national secretary of the Republican Party of India (Athawale).

Thounaojam wrote to Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda on December 11 stating that indigeneity should be the main criterion to define Scheduled Tribes.

He also requested the Centre to accordingly determine “who should be correctly in the Scheduled Tribes list of Manipur”, while making a case for the inclusion of Meiteis.

Following this, the Centre sent the representation to the Manipur government, saying that the state’s recommendations are a prerequisite to process the case, reported The Sangai Express.

In November, another representation in this regard was made by the World Meetei Council, a collective of the Meitei community, according to the Eastern Mirror.

The collective said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Kuki-Chin community in the state had migrated from Myanmar and was allowed to settle in Manipur on humanitarian grounds under the refugee settlement policy.

“However, when the Chin-Kuki groups of people got settled down in Manipur they became trouble creators, even working to carve out an independent homeland, which they call as Zalengam,” the Council had argued.

The members of the Meitei community, who account for 60% of Manipur’s population, have been demanding inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes list for several years.

In an order on April 19, the Manipur High Court had asked the state government to consider petitions for including the Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list “expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks”.

The order led to widespread protests in Manipur. Several organisations led by the All Manipur Tribal Union had moved the Manipur High Court on May 3, seeking permission to file a third-party appeal against the March order.

On the same day, large-scale violence broke out after thousands of people participated in a protest march to oppose the Meitei community’s demand. Over 200 people have been killed in the state since the ethnic conflict between the Meitei and Kuki communities started and nearly 60,000 persons have been forced to flee their homes.