Committee suggests 1951 as a cut-off year to define ‘indigenous’ term
NEW DELHI: The 14-member high-powered Committee on Clause-VI of the Assam Accord has suggested the introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Assam besides making 1951 the cut-off year for defining the “indigenous” people of the State.
The Committee headed by former justice Biplab Kumar Sarma has already completed its report and are now waiting for home minister Amit Shah’s appointment for officially handing over the report.
Sources said that the committee has unanimously recommended that those people who were residents of Assam in 1951 and their descendants, irrespective of community, caste, language, religion or heritage, should be considered as the “indigenous” people of the State.
Till date there have been differences of opinion over the cut-off date for identifying the “indigenous” people of Assam. However, the National Register of Citizen (NRC) was carried out in Assam on the basis of 1971 as cut-off year for identifying the Indians.
The committee members, according to sources, also suggested that the ILP should be introduced in Assam so that movement of outsiders could be controlled. The ILP, notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation-1873, has been in operation in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur. People who want to visit these ILP areas need to take prior permission from the authorities concerned.
Officials in the Home Ministry who is aware of the report said that the Committee has also suggested two options for the reservation of seats for the “indigenous” people in the Assam Assembly and Lok Sabha constituencies of the State. It has also suggested that besides the 67 per cent quota for the “indigenous” people, 16 per cent will also be reserved for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe communities, the committee said in its report.
In the case of State government jobs, the Committee recommended 80 per cent reservation for the locals. A number of several other recommendations were also made for the protection and growth of Assamese and the other indigenous languages. Sources added that Union Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to meet the Committee members in New Delhi either on February 20 or 21.