Members of the Joint Forum of Denotified Communities for Social Justice petitioned the collector here on Monday asking for a population census by caste in the center and the state government.
Their demands included urging the state to withdraw the order issued allowing a special reserve of 10.5% for employed Vanniyars, as part of the overall 20% quota for the most backward classes (MBC) and denotified communities (DNC).
“Acting in favor of one community is against the law. The High Court and the Supreme Court, when we brought cases against the reserves, have only reiterated the need for a population census by caste to support the reserves,” said MCA Anbalagan, executive member of the forum.
The current reservation would only deprive the employment and education opportunities of people belonging to MBC and DNC, he added.
They also urged the Union government to conduct a similar census and list them under Other Backward Classes to enable them to enjoy the benefits.
The benefits of undertaking the caste-based census would help determine the status of the backward classes and for governments to take steps to develop their current status, their petition said. “This will help recognize many unidentified communities where the government needs to intervene for their betterment,” Mr Anbagalan said.
They also asked the state to change the community certificate issued to DNC members as denotified tribes to reap the benefits granted by the Union government, something they have been asking for eight years.
Members of the 261 communities are due to gather on August 7 to stage a protest in Madurai in this regard.