After the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) made public the confidential report on Clause 6 of Assam Accord by the Centre’s high-level committee, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal assured that the state government is committed to implement the said provision of the 1985 agreement.
Sonowal on Tuesday said, the BJP-led government will protect the interests of the people.
Acknowledging the receipt of the report in February, Sonowal said, the Coronavirus pandemic has been stalling the day-to-day affairs of people worldwide since then due to nationwide lockdown and subsequent restrictions.
“Simultaneously the Central government is also taking steps in this regard. Therefore, without giving a definite timeframe, disclosing the report of the committee is very unfortunate,” the chief minister stated.
Sonowal claimed that the Assam government from the beginning has been taking steps for safeguarding the interests of the people through consultation and suggestion and it will not do anything keeping the people in the dark.
As per Clause 6, Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
The bone of contention since the signing of the pact on August 15, 1985 has been the definition of Assamese people, which the committee tried to fix as the tribal, indigenous and all other Indian citizens residing within the territory of Assam as per the First Schedule of the Constitution on or before January 1, 1951 along with their descendants.
On February 25, the high-level committee on the implementation of clause 6 had submitted the report to the chief minister for handing it over to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The report sought to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit, and also asked the government for prompt measures to seal the India-Bangladesh border.