GUWAHATI, Aug 16 - A land policy is being prepared by the State government to protect the land rights of the indigenous people of Assam.
This was announced by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal during his customary Independence Day speech at the College of Veterinary Science playground here on Wednesday.
Sonowal said that the policy is being prepared based on the recommendations of the committee headed by HS Brahma.
�Steps to implement the land policy would be taken soon. The policy, we believe, would be able to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people,� Sonowal said at the Independence Day function attended by government officials and people from various walks of life.
Speaking in the context of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Sonowal said, �I am sure that the NRC will go a long way in creating a positive environment for Assamese nationalism to gain ground.�
�The NRC will be an important mechanism to make Assam free from illegal immigrants and the State government is committed to making Assam free from foreigners,� he said, while acknowledging the efforts made by security personnel and those involved in the NRC update exercise.
Sonowal, during the course of his speech, also reiterated his government�s commitment to make the State free from corruption, violence and pollution.
He also stated that the government has laid special stress on providing employment to youths and that more than 45,000 candidates were absorbed in various government departments, both on permanent and contractual basis.
Sonowal also asserted that the government has adopted a zero-tolerance approach towards corruption and the arrest of 52 officials in the cash-for-job scam in the Assam Public Service Commission is a testimony to that fact.
He also stated that the government, besides taking steps to protect the flora and fauna, is also acting tough against wildlife crimes. The incidents of rhino poaching have come down in the last couple of years with as many as 170 poachers being arrested during the period, he said.
�Ten fast-track courts have also been set up to expedite trials against poachers,� he pointed out.
Further, acknowledging the contributions of small tea growers, the Chief Minister said the government has already started the process of granting land patta to them.
Sonowal hailed the efforts of athlete Hima Das for her glorious achievement and wished good luck to all the sportspersons participating in the ensuing Asian Games.