GUWAHATI, July 25 - Five months have passed since the committee formed by the Central government to suggest measures for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord has submitted its report to the government, but till date the Centre has not spelt out the measures to implement the recommendations.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal received the report of the committee on behalf of Union Home Minister Amit Shah on February 25 this year and till date, the government has not made the report public, not to speak of implementing the same.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, All Assam Students� Union (AASU) chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya, who was also a member of the committee, said the government�s attitude was unfortunate. The Centre should have made its stand clear on the implementation of the recommendations of the committee for providing constitutional safeguards to the indigenous people of Assam, he said. �Constitutional safeguards to the indigenous people is a must to protect their identity in the face of infiltration of foreign nationals to the State,� he added.
Bhattacharya said all the members of the committee, headed by Justice (Retd) Biplab Sarma, signed the report on February 10. However, the Joint Secretary (North East) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, who was the member secretary of the committee, did not sign the report. He said the committee�s chairman had informed the Home Ministry about the completion of the report. But the Union Home Minister could not find time to formally receive the report and the Sonowal received it on his behalf on February 25.
Bhattacharya said it is still not known whether the Chief Minister handed over the report to the Union Home Minister and the Centre is also quiet about it. He demanded that the government should make the report public as the people have the right to know about its contents. �On several occasions, the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister had assured that the Centre would implement the recommendations of the committee immediately after receiving it. The Home Minister also made such an announcement in Parliament. But they have been quiet after receiving the report,� he added.
Bhattacharya said when the movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was at its peak, the Centre tried to bargain with the AASU promising that Clause 6 of the Assam Accord would be implemented. �We made it clear that it would not be acceptable. The Clause 6 was incorporated in the Accord to protect the rights of indigenous people because Assam had to take the burden of foreigners, who had came between 1951 to 1971, and the CAA violates the Accord as it would provide citizenship to foreigners who have came after 1971,� he said.