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‘Land Omitted from Terms of Reference of Committee’: Upamanyu Hazarika

Upamanyu Hazarika

GUWAHATI: The recent constitution of the committee under Clause 6 of the Assam Accord has omitted in its terms of reference to include land as a subject for the purposes of safeguard, senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika said. Hazarika issued a statement to this effect on Saturday.

Under Clause 6 of the Assam Accord legal and constitutional safeguards are to be provided to safeguard the identity of the Assamese people. “With the current estimate of 80 lakh foreigners in Assam of whom 40 lakhs have been excluded from the draft list and significantly smaller number likely to be excluded from the final list, it is clear that NRC alone cannot safeguard the indigenous people from becoming a minority.

The only reason for which infiltration occurs is the hunger for land by the Bangladeshis who have already encroached upon lakhs of bighas in middle and lower Assam and encroached upon 4 lakh hectares of forest land out of a total of 17 lakh hectares. It is because land has been reserved only for indigenous people in the other north eastern states is why they are safeguarded from Bangladeshi infiltration and without similar legal safeguards for local and indigenous people in Assam, there can be no reprieve from infiltrators,” the statement said. Only two subjects mentioned in the terms of reference are employment and reservation in the Assembly and local body constituencies, the statement said.

Clause 6 of the historic Assam Accord states: “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”.

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