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High-level panel holds hearing at Tezpur

By Correspondent

TEZPUR, Nov 29 - A high level committee constituted to check the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord held a hearing at the Circuit House, Tezpur on Thursday where individuals and organisations from the seven districts of Morigaon, Hojai, Nagaon, Darrang, Udalguri, Biswanath and Sonitpur presented their views and submitted memorandums before the committee.

The committee was led by Chairman, Justice (Retd) Biplab Kumar Sharma, former judge, Gauhati High Court while Dr Ramesh Ch Borpatragohain, Advocate General, Assam, Dr Jaikanta Sharma, Prof and columnist, Sumanta Chaliha, author and columnist, Mahadananda Hazarika, IAS ( retd), OSD, IAA deptt, Dipanka Kr Nath, president, AASU, Lurinjyoti Gogoi, gen secy, AASU, Jayanta Goswami, jt secy, IAA dept and Prasanta Kathkotia, Deputy Secretary, IAA dept were present as members.

The committee will submit its report to the Central government within six months.

The committee has already held hearings in other parts of the State.

Meanwhile, our Correspondent from Kalaigaon adds: A group of senior citizens of Udalguri district representing tribal and other indigenous people of Assam met the HLC (High Level Committee) in respect of implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord, headed by Justice BK Sharma, retired Judge, Gauhati High Court at Tezpur Circuit House at 12.30 pm on November 28. The members of the group gave various suggestions in response to the request to provide views, comments, suggestions on measures to be taken as regards to various issues of indigenous people of Assam.

The Udalguri members suggested hundred per cent reservation of seats in the Parliament, Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for tribals and other indigenous people of Assam. According to the members, no other people or candidate from any other State of India should have the right to contest any election in Assam.

The members also suggested measures to protect Assamese and other indigenous tribal languages of Assam by making local languages compulsory in their respective schools and colleges.

Regarding reservation of employment under State government, Central government, semi-Central government, Central PSUs and private sectors in Assam, the senior citizens suggested hundred per cent reservation of jobs for the indigenous people of Assam.

Regarding protection, preservation and promotion of cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the indigenous people, the senior members suggested that government of India should give constitutional safeguards to indigenous languages and culture, and to make studying of mother tongue compulsory in all schools and colleges in Assam.

Regarding protection of land rights of indigenous people of Assam, the members strongly suggested total ban on sell or transfer of land in Assam to non-indigenous people. The members also suggested that the land rights of the tribal people must be protected. The members also endorsed 1951 as the base year for implementation of the Assam Accord.

The senior members from Udalguri district included Sarat Basumatari (social worker), Jayanta Kumar Das (journalist), Jacob Mochahari (rtd Principal, Udalguri HSS), Benzamin Soren (rtd HM and Adivasi scholar) and Bidyapati Dahal (senior Gorkha citizen). The members also met Prakah Ranjan Ghorphalia, Deputy Commissioner, Udalguri at his office in Udalguri in the evening to brief him about the meeting. The DC thanked the members for submitting the suggestions to the HLC on the Assam Accord.

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