Clause 6 committee of Assam Accord to submit report to MHA soon

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Justice (retd) Biplab Kumar Sarma on Monday said that Clause 6 committee of the Assam Accord will submit its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) by the end of this month. The committee members headed by Sarma on Monday called on the union home minister Amit Shah at his residence and discussed some legal angles of the report.

“We were called by Amit Shah this morning. We discussed some legal points of the report with him. We may take few more days to submit the report,” Sarma said after the meeting. Hopefully, by the end of this month we will be able to submit the report,” Sarma reiterated.

He said that the committee has also worked out the definition of the Assamese. “As the word Assamese was used in the terms and conditions it is obvious that not only those people who can speak Assamese will be included but others too will come under this ‘indigenous’ definition,” he said.

He said that the committee members have visited Assam to talk with all stakeholders before compiling the report.

In July last year, the Union Home Ministry had reconstituted the committee with 13 members. Members of the previous committee headed former Union tourism secretary MP Bezbaruah refused to be part of the committee.

MHA pointed out that Clause 6 of the Assam Accord envisaged that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

“However, it has been felt that Clause 6 of the Assam Accord has not been fully implemented even almost 35 years after the Accord was signed,” the home ministry said. The Committee was given the task to examine the effectiveness of actions since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. The Committee was asked to hold discussions with all stakeholders and assess the required quantum of reservation of seats in Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for Assamese people. The Committee was also asked to assess the requirement of measures to be taken to protect the Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam, and the quantum of reservation in employment under the Assam government.

Measures to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of Assamese people, were the other things the committee was asked to assess. Members of the committee include Ramesh Borpatragohain, Advocate General, Assam, Niloy Dutta, Advocate General, Arunachal Pradesh, Subhash Das, former IAS, Pallav Bhattacharya, former IPS, Dr. Srishtidhar Dutta, retired professor, Sumanta Chaliha, author and columnist, Dr. Jaikanta Sharma, professor &columnist, among others.

Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry Satyendra Garg is the member secretary of the committee. Earlier in the day, reporters were not allowed to enter into Assam Bhawan in New Delhi to talk with the committee members.

The North East Media Forum (NEMF) has vehemently criticized the restrictions imposed by the Assam Bhawan administration on the movements of Delhi based reporters covering Assam.

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