‘Assam govt on right track on Clause 6’

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Himanta lambastes AASU for making confidential panel report public

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Aug 12: A day after the leaders of All Assam Students Union (AASU) made public the confidential report of High Power Committee on implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord, senior BJP leader Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday came down heavily on the AASU for the controversial act and termed it as a “political party”.

While terming the students’ body as a political party, Sarma in a press conference in the city said, “They are going to form a new political party. So, they would definitely say the government has no goodwill in the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.”

“Now, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) is a political party. So, a political party naturally puts blame on a different party,” Sarma said.

Sarma made it clear that the state government was on the right track to execute the recommendations of the High Power Committee constituted by the ministry of home affairs (MHA) to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

The Centre constituted the High Power Committee on July 16, 2019, for recommending measures to implement the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord in which three members of the AASU were included in the committee.

Accordingly, the Committee, headed by retired Justice Biplab Sharma, submitted its report to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal in Guwahati on February 25 this year.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya had said, “The report was completed and duly submitted in the stipulated time.  Now we need result, no more verbal assurance.”

“I do not understand why the AASU leaders had made the report public. We are on track according to us and we advanced far away over the last five months. Still, we are in the same phase and stand committed to implementing the Accord as recommended by the high-level committee,” Sarma said.

“By exposing the report of the High Power Committee, the AASU has complicated the issue. We could have moved ahead carefully avoiding controversy without exposing the report,” Sarma said.

He said that the student union should know that the definition of the ‘Assamese’ has to be ratified by the Assam Assembly. “If the Assam Assembly ratifies the definition and gives it to the Central government, the Centre will work on it. The Centre has already started working by constituting the delimitation commission,” he said.

Taking reference to the committee’s recommendation, the minister stressed that there were complex recommendations for which implementation should be stepped up after due scrutiny by a superior committee comprising of a three-member retired Supreme Court judges.

Stating that the state government is committed to implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, the minister said, “The definition of Assamese, determined by 12 people, cannot be final.”

Speaking on the committee’s recommendations, Sarma said, “How can be determined that a person, who came to Assam before 1951, as an Assamese? The committee is silent in this regard. What kind of documents – NRC or land paper – a person would require for that? Many people have no land documents.”

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