Committed to implement Clause 6 of Assam Accord, says Assam govt
Upset at ‘inaction’ by the government on a high-level committee ’s confidential report on the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. even after five months of its submission, the All Assam Students Union (AASU) made it public on Tuesday.
The Assam government on Wednesday assured that it is committed to implement the Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord which pertains to safeguards for the preservation and promotion of Assamese identity and heritage.
The assurance by the state’s finance, education, health and PWD minister Himanta Biswa Sarma came a day after All Assam Students Union (AASU) made public a high-level committee’s confidential report on the implementation of Clause 6 of the accord.
Among other things, the report seeks reservation for Assamese in Parliament, state assembly, local bodies, and regulation of entry of people from other states into Assam.
“We are resolved to implement the Clause 6 and are on track. By releasing the report, AASU has created complications. The committee’s report would be tabled in assembly at a future date and it will define and ratify definition of Assamese people,” Sarma said while addressing a press conference.
“It is only after the assembly passes a resolution, the matter will go to Centre and implementation process of Clause 6 will begin,” he added.
The tripartite accord involving AASU, whose members were a part of the committee, the state government and the Centre was signed in 1985. It was signed after a six-year agitation against illegal immigrants.
A 13-member committee headed by justice (Retd) Biplab Kumar Sarma submitted the report to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on February this year. Clarity on who can be called an Assamese was one of the committee’s main tasks as the accord did not clearly define it.
The report proposes January 1951 as the cut-off date for any Indian citizen residing in Assam to be defined as an Assamese for the purpose of implementing Clause 6.
The report also seeks quotas in government jobs. It also talks about issues related to land and land rights, linguistic, cultural and social rights and protection of the state’s resources and biodiversity
Upset at ‘inaction’ by the government on the report even after five months of its submission, AASU made it public on Tuesday.
“AASU may be upset at ‘inaction’ of few months, but the committee report itself says that the recommendations are to be implemented within two years after careful scrutiny by a committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge as it involves constitutional provisions,” said Sarma.
“Since our government is at the end of our tenure and the assembly elections are due in few months, it might be better if the newly elected assembly takes up the issue of ratifying definition of Assamese people,” he added.
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