AASU releases confidential report on Clause 6 of Assam Accord

The All Assam Students Union (AASU) — which was a part of the Centre's high-level committee on Clause 6 of
AASU releases confidential report on Clause 6 of Assam Accord


GUWAHATI: The All Assam Students Union (AASU) — which was a part of the Centre's high-level committee on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord — released the confidential report of the Committee here on Tuesday saying that "the government has not maintained the confidentiality of the report".

Making this allegation here on Tuesday, AASU Chief Adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya — who is also a member of the Committee constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), posed, "It is surprising that some persons commented that they cannot accept a few suggestions of the Committee. How did they get the report when it has not been officially made public? Why hasn't any step been taken by the Central and State governments even after five months following submission of the report?"

"The public has a right to know of the present status of this crucial report," he said, adding, "Union Home Minister Amit Shah had earlier stated that the work on the committee's recommendations will be begun within one week following submission of the report by the panel. Now, we want the results!"

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.

On February 25, the high-level committee on the implementation of Clause 6, headed by Justice (retd) Biplab Kumar Sharma, had submitted the report to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for handing it over to Union Home Minister. The Chairman of the Committee had submitted the report in the presence of the entire State Cabinet and top government officials.

In January last year, though the MHA had formed the committee headed by retired Union Secretary MP Bezbaruah, six of the nine members declined to be part of it, following which the panel was reconstituted on July 15, 2019 with 14 members and Justice Sharma as its Chairman.

Bhattacharjya added, "Though 13 of the 14 members of the Committee signed the report, yet the Member Secretary of this Committee who is also the Joint Secretary of the North East, Ministry of Home Affairs, Satyendra K Garg, did not do so. This indicates the lack of sincerity on the part of the Central government with respect to the report."

Meanwhile taking part in the media briefing via video conferencing, senior advocate Nilay Dutta — another member of the Committee and who is also the Advocate General of Arunachal Pradesh, said, "The Central and Assam governments are least bothered about the Committee's recommendations."

When asked if there will be any legal implication for making the report public, senior advocate Dutta said it will not have any repercussion.

In the presence of AASU's president Dipanko Kumar Nath and General secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi – both members of the Committee, the organization's Chief Adviser said "Against this backdrop, we feel that the masses have the right to know of the Committee's recommendations." They also distributed copies of the Committee's report (along with the recommendations) among the persons present in the press briefing.

Here are some of the key recommendations of the Committee:


• The Assam Accord must be fully implemented in a time-bound manner so as to facilitate detection, deletion and deportation of foreigners in Assam.

• The Committee noted that the Assam Accord is yet to be fully and effectively implemented even after 35 years of its signing. It is felt that complete implementation of all Clauses of the Assam Accord especially Clauses 5.1 to 5.9, Clauses 7, 10 and 11 are essential for the safeguards to be provided under Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

• Prompt and adequate measures to be adopted to completely seal the Indo-Bangladesh border in the line of Indo-Pakistan border.

• Till deportation of the post-1971 stream of declared foreigners is completed, they should be resettled in areas outside the State of Assam, as an interim measure.

Among the key recommendations is the definition of the term "Assamese People".

"The Committee after deliberations and upon consideration of the various representations from the stakeholders and further on the basis of Interactions with various organisations and individuals, the Committee has come to the conclusion that the definition of Assamese People for specific purpose of Implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord should consist of the Indigenous Tribals as well as other Indigenous Communities of Assam over and above the Indigenous Assamese.

"While providing Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards in terms of Clause 6 of Assam Accord, the term 'Assamese People" shall be construed as including: "All citizens of India who are part of: (i) the Assamese community, residing In the Territory of Assam on or before 01.01. 1951; or (ii) any indigenous Tribal Community of Assam residing in the Territory of Assam on or before 01.01.1951; or (iii) any other Indigenous community of Assam residing in the Territory of Assam on or before 01.01.1951; or (iv) all other citizens of India residing in the territory of Assam on or before 01.01.1951; and (v) descendants of the above categories.

Among other recommendations, the Committee also suggested reservation of 80-100 per cent in Parliament seats from the State, creation of an Upper House in Assam, and also implementation of the ILP (Inner Line Permit) provision in the State.

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