New Delhi : The Ministry of Home Affairs has initiated a high level committee to look into the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985.
Clause 6 of Assam Accord
The High level committee includes retired IAS officer Subhash Das, former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha Dr nagen Saikia, former editor Dhiren Bezbaruah, Assam Attorney General Ramesh Borpatragohain, educationist Dr Mukuna Rajbanshi, former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha Rongbong Terang, joint secretary of MHA and a representative of All Assam Students’ Union. It is headed by retired IAS officer MP Bezbaruah.
The panel will submit its report within six months.
The clause aims to provide constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
Implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord
The proposal to form the committee was cleared by the Union Cabinet earlier this week. The panel’s announcement comes at a time when the BJP government is facing criticism in Assam over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which proposes to make minority (non-Muslim) immigrants from three neighbouring countries – Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan – eligible for Indian citizenship.
The Assam Accord was a Memorandum of Settlement signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on August 15, 1985 in presence of Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister. A six year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the All Assam Students’ Union in 1979.
Clause 6 of Assam Accord
The Clause 6 of the Accord states that, “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguard, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.”
The Committee will examine the effectiveness of actions taken since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
It will hold discussions with various stakeholders including social organizations, legal and constitutional experts, eminent persons from the field of art, culture and literature, conservationists, economists, linguists and sociologists. Besides, it will also assess the appropriate level of reservation of seats in Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for the Assamese people.
High Level committee for the implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord
The Committee will also suggest measures to be taken to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam. It will recommend the appropriate level of reservations in employment under the Government of Assam for the Assamese people.
The Committee may suggest any other measures as may be necessary to protect, preserve and promote cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.