‘Hold talks with trade unions, tea garden management to resolve bonus row,’ CM tells DCs, SPs
GUWAHATI, Aug 24: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday reviewed the law and order situation of the state before and after the publication of final National Register of Citizens (NRC) on August 31 in a meeting with the deputy commissioners (DCs) and superintendents of police (SPs) of all districts of the state at Assam Administrative Staff College here.
Directing the DCs and SPs to maintain close relations with the influential people and opinion makers in the society, Sonowal asked them to ensure no misunderstanding regarding the NRC process remained among the people.
He also instructed the district administrations to take help of public representatives like MLAs, zilla parishad members, panchayat members and dedicated NGOs to make all sections of the people aware about the real implications of NRC process which was being monitored by Supreme Court of India and legal ways which would be available to the people excluded from NRC.
Referring to a statement of ministry of home affairs (MHA), he also strongly asserted that even people excluded from NRC would not be treated as foreigners and Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) are the ultimate authority in declaring a person foreigner after a stipulated process.
The MHA had issued a statement which informed that non-inclusion of a person’s name in the NRC does not by itself amount to him or her being declared as a foreigner as they would be given adequate opportunity to present their case before the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs). The statement also informed that MHA would amend the rules to increase the present time limit of filing of appeals in FTs from 60 days to 120 days regarding exclusion from final NRC.
Stating that Assam had the distinction of being the first state where NRC was being updated, Sonowal urged the DCs and SPs to extensively tour their districts and spread the right message about NRC among the people through discussions with various stakeholders.
The chief minister also expressed optimism that people of the state would extend their wholehearted co-operation this time also like in the time of publication two draft NRCs in maintaining peace and harmony.
The chief minister also asked the police to make the youth aware about right usage of social media and harms of spreading rumours and misinformation.
In the meeting, the chief minister also directed the DCs to ensure the fulfilment of state government’s commitment to provide land pattas to 1 lakh landless people of the state and for the purpose, he instructed the DCs to make necessary arrangements to distribute around 3000 land pattas in each of the districts by October.
Taking up the issue of slow pace of four-lane national highways in the state by NHIDCL, Sonowal directed the DCs to disburse all payments to land owners whose lands had been acquisitioned for four lane construction within September 30.
Saying that there were allegations of some DCs wilfully holding back payments to land owners, Sonowal warned that strong action would be taken against DCs found guilty of anomaly in this regard and thereby delaying the four-laning process in the state.
Reiterating that making a corruption free state was one of the top priorities of the state government, Sonowal asserted that people had high hopes from this government as it had carried out a ruthless campaign against corruption and urged DCs and SPs to make their best efforts to completely eliminate corrupt practices from the system.
Referring to a statement issued by Indian Tea Association (ITA) informing that tea industry might not be able to give 20 percent bonus to the workers this year before Durga Puja due to heavy losses incurred by the industry, Sonowal asked the DCs and SPs to hold talks with the trade unions and tea garden managements so that issues could be resolved peacefully.
He also directed district administrations to take help of MLAs and other public representatives in handling the situation.
Media and legal advisers to the chief minister Hrishikesh Goswami and Shantanu Bharali, chief secretary Alok Kumar, additional chief secretary (home and political) Kumar Sanjay Krishna, director general of Assam Police Kuladhar Saikia, principal secretary to the chief minister Sanjay Lohia were present in the meeting along with other top police and administrative officials of the state.