GUWAHATI: On the eve of Swahid Divas (Martyrs Day) the Sadou Asom Jatiya Swahid Pariyal Somonnoyrokhi Parishad has expressed apprehension that non-implementation of the Assam Accord will pose a threat to the indigenous people of the state.
The state observes December 10 when Khargeswar Talukdar sacrificed his life in 1979 during the Assam Agitation as the martyrs day to pay tribute to the over 855 martyrs of the movement. He is the first martyr of the agitation. The Parishad feels that the historic Assam Movement may become history in 5-10 years if the government fails to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit.
Talking to The Sentinel, Khargeswar Talukdar's brother Chandrakanta Talukdar, the general secretary of the Parishad, said that it was unfortunate that the State government showed no urgency in the implementation of the Assam Accord. "It doesn't bode well for the people of the state," he said.
"Even after three decades of the Accord, the government has not taken any concrete steps to implement it. Committees after committees are formed to implement the clauses of the Assam Accord, but there has been no progress in the process. Even the organizations have softened their stance and scaled-down their voices. Everyone should pressurize the government so that the Assam Accord is implemented in its true form," he said.
Talukdar said that the main purpose of the Assam Accord was to ensure detection and deportation of foreigners but the government has completed the process.
"The AGP that came to power because of the Assam Movement failed to implement the Assam Accord. The next governments too didn't accord it a priority. The NRC was a golden opportunity to identify foreigners, but the government failed to come up with a correct NRC. It is a mystery why the government failed to prepare an error-free NRC," Talukdar said.
He added, "In the Assam Accord there was no mention of religious criteria in the deportation of foreigners. The rights of the indigenous people must be protected otherwise the sacrifice of the 855 martyrs will go to waste. The cut-off date of midnight of March 24, 1971, must remain for the detection and deportation of illegal immigrants. We also demand complete sealing of the India-Bangladesh border."
Talukdar alleged that the work of the Shahid Park coming up in the Boragaon area of Guwahati has been going at a slow pace.
"A former chief minister had promised two bighas of land and Rs 50 lakh for the next of kin of martyrs of the movement. However, he did not meet the promise. We had also sought jobs for the eligible members of the families of the martyrs. The government should give the task of looking after the Swahid Park to the members of the martyrs' families. The Assam Accord Implementation Department need to look into the matter," Talukdar said.
Talukdar said that a Gorukhuti-like project should come up at the over 300 bighas of land made encroachment free at Bhabanipur.