Guwahati: Prabajan Virodhi Manch Convener and Senior Advocate, Upamanyu Hazarika on Thursday in a press statement said that the Central Cabinet decision to constitute a high-level committee for effective implementation of the clause 6 of the Assam Accord is more like a statement of intent rather than a specific step to be taken to safeguard the indigenous people and save them from becoming a minority in the face of Bangladeshi aggression.
Hazarika also stated in the press statement that it's an irony that for Assam, the priority is migrants over indigenous people of the state. Whilst after two years of being elected, the Citizenship Amendment Bill granting citizenship to religious minorities from neighbouring countries was introduced, promises of safeguarding indigenous are made with barely five months to go till the elections.
"These proposed measures are in-substantive, require parliamentary sanction and clearly cannot be fulfilled before the elections," adding, "Coming on the eve of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, this appears to be yet another set of promises, when results are the need of the hour," said Upamanyu Hazarika.
Hazarika also highlighted the fact that there two distinct features, firstly the clarification by the Central Cabinet that land policy and related safeguards of jobs, trade licenses will be by the State Government demonstrates that effective safeguards like land, Government employment and benefits, educational reservations are within the domain of the State Government and State Legislature and in which regard, the State Government has completely slept over for the last two and half years, escaping and abdicating their responsibility and core election promise of protecting Jaati, Maati, Bheti.
Hazarika also suggested that the state government should immediately convene an emergent session of the State Assembly and pass legislation similar to the legislation passed by the BJP led Manipur Assembly reserving land, employment and other benefits for the indigenous communities and pre-1951 citizens of the State and their descendants.
It did not require the Central Cabinet in the case of Manipur to give a clarification that the Manipur BJP Government could have such a Bill passed by the assembly. "Now that the Central Government has lent spine to the state leadership in Assam, they should seize this opportunity and pass the law," Hazarika suggested.
Speaking about the clause 6 of the Assam Accord, Hazarika added, "This is intrinsic in clause 6 of the Assam Accord which promises legal and constitutional safeguards to the Assamese people to give them superior rights over resources as a compensation of taking additional burden of 23 years of foreigner's influx, unlike the rest of India.
Furthermore, Upamanyu Hazarika concluded saying that there are three essential steps which need to be implemented together to ensure that indigenous do not become a minority are:-
- Reservation of land, Government Jobs on 1951 basis
- Re-verification of NRC
- No further thrusting of foreigners through instruments like the Citizenship Amendment Bill