* ASSAMESE DEFINITION, NRC UPDATE
Statewide protest on March 10
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, March 8: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) today took on the Tarun Gogoi government over the Assamese definition controversy, accusing it of needlessly politicizing the issue. The AASU alleged that the State government is trying to create confusion in the public mind about the students’ body’s stand on providing constitutiol safeguards to indigenous people.
Whenever the issue of providing constitutiol safeguards arises, it is the State government that tries to divert it by bringing up the Assamese definition issue and then pushing the ball to Axom Xahitya Xabha or Cabinet sub-committee’s court, alleged AASU.
Addressing a press meet here on Sunday, AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya stated that Clause 6 of the Assam Accord clearly stated about providing constitutiol, legislative and administrative safeguards to the Assamese people. “To protect the indigenous people of the State, fixing of the Assamese definition is a must but it should be done through intellectual discussions. The State government is conspiring to protect illegal Bangladeshis living in the State by creating confusion over the Assamese definition issue,” he said.
The students’ body demanded that municipal and Assembly seats be reserved for indigenous Assamese candidates, like seats reserved for SC/ST candidates, so that no illegal Bangladeshi tiol can contest polls. “There are examples of illegal Bangladeshi tiols contesting Assembly elections in the State.” Bhattacharya pointed out.
The AASU also cited the 2008 judgment of the Gauhati High Court which stated that large number of Bangladeshis present in the State is likely to play a major role in electing representatives both to the Legislative Assembly and the Parliament, and consequently in the decision making process towards building the tion. “They (illegal Bangladeshis in Assam) have become kingmaker,” the High Court had stated.
A sub-committee was formed in 1998 by including representatives of the Central government, the State government and the AASU, which also strongly suggested reservation of seats for indigenous Assamese in municipal bodies, State Assembly and Parliament, Bhattacharya stated.
Clause 6 of the Assam Accord also demanded giving land rights to the State’s indigenous people, special category status to the State, introducing the system of dual citizenship and inner line permit, preservation of xatras and sites of historical importance in the State and others.
The students’ body alleged that the State government is also trying to divert the attention of the public on the NRC update issue, for which the Supreme Court has given a deadline to Dispur.
Meanwhile, the AASU will stage a statewide protest on March 10, demanding constitutiol status to all the indigenous peoples in the State.