GUWAHATI: The report of the high-level committee for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord was yet to reach the Centre. The revelation came during the ongoing Parliament session when nominated member to the Rajya Sabha, Sambhaji Chatrapati, raised queries about the status of the report.
Clause 6 envisages constitutional, legislative and administrative measures to safeguard, protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
The MP questioned whether the recommendations of the committee have been submitted to the central government, the nature of the recommendations, the amount of time the government is likely to take to examine the recommendation and the timeline for implementation of the recommendation.
In reply, minister of the state of Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy said, “The high-level committee constituted by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Clause 6 of Assam Accord has submitted its report to the government of Assam and its recommendations are under examination of the state government.”
Immediately after the revelation, Opposition and public groups of Assam hit back at the BJP ruled government and questioned its intention in implementing the recommendations of the report.
Lurinjyoti Gogoi, general secretary of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and a member of the high-level committee said, “It clearly shows the intention of the government. The report is still with the state government and yet to reach the Centre. It’s nothing but backstabbing the people of the state.”
The report was submitted way back in February. Frustrated with the delay from the government, AASU has recently made the report public.
“The Union Home Ministry showed and demonstrated the perpetration of a fraud on the people of Assam on the issue of protecting their identity,” alleged Upamanyu Hazarika, Supreme Court lawyer and Convenor of Prabajan Virodhi Manch (PVM).
Citing state’s senior cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s statement in which the latter had gone on record that the Clause 6 committee report would be implemented in toto without changing a comma or a full stop, Hazarika added that the same minister after submission of the report had said that 13 people (committee members) cannot decide the fate of the people of Assam.
Hazarika said, “Since the committee was constituted by the Centre with specific terms of reference and the report was submitted to the state government which is in breach of the terms of reference.”
In the same line, Congress MP from Assam and Assam Pradesh Congress chief Ripun Bora said, “It proves that the state government has no will to solve the problems of the state but to delay them for their political gains.”
He alleged that the state government never had any intention or desire to fulfill its promises and implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord for protection of indigenous people; it was merely a ploy to divert and distract attention, he added.
While asked on the status of the report, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal reiterated, “The state government had received the report with full honour and working on its proper implementation. People of Assam must keep their faith in us.”