GUWAHATI, Jan 24 - The fate of the high level committee constituted by the Government of India to suggest measures for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord remains uncertain as after four of its members including the chairman expressed their inability to be a part of it. The Centre has not made its position clear, while, the remaining members have also not heard from the Joint Secretary (North East) of the Ministry of Home Affairs, who is the member secretary.
The Government of India constituted a high level committee headed by retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer MP Bezbaruah to suggest measures for the implementation of the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. As per the provisions of the Clause 6, the Government of India is supposed to provide constitutional and administrative safeguards to the Assamese people.
However, four members of the committee including its chairman MP Bezbaruah expressed their inability to be a part of the committee. The other members, who refused to be a part of the committee are two former presidents of the Asam Sahitya Sabha- Dr Nagen Saikia and Rong Bong Terang and educationist Mukunda Rajbongshi. The All Assam Students� Union (AASU) also refused to be a part of the committee till the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is withdrawn.
However, since the formation of the committee, its other members � retired IAS officer Subhas Das, noted journalist DN Bezboruah and the Advocate General of Assam Ramesh Barpatragohain have not heard from the Centre on its stand.
Official sources told The Assam Tribune that the committee was constituted by an administrative order and not under the provisions of any statutory Act and the procedure of functioning of such committees are usually decided by the chairman in consultation with the members. The member secretary, in consultation with the chairman, should fix the date for the first sitting and the committee becomes operational only after the first sitting. But in this particular case, the Chairman has expressed his inability to be a part of the committee and the remaining members were also not contacted by the member secretary.
Sources said that as per the terms of reference, the first job of the committee is to examine the effectiveness of the actions taken since 1985 to implement the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. But the State and the Central Governments have not yet submitted the details of the actions taken so far to implement Clause 6 of the Accord. Sources pointed out that there is no way the committee can start functioning without receiving the details of the steps taken so far.
However, with the Government not yet clarifying its position nor informing the existing members of its next move, it is uncertain whether the committee exists or the Government will form a new committee on the issue.