R Dutta Choudhury

Committee submitted report one year ago

GUWAHATI, Feb 24: It will be one year of submission of the report of the high level committee on implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord tomorrow, but till date, the Central government has not initiated any move to implement the recommendations put forward by the panel.

Meanwhile, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has threatened to intensify movement against the failure of the government to implement the report even as one of the members of the committee, Samujjal Bhattacharya, alleged that the delay on the part of the Central and State governments in implementing the report proved their lack of sincerity.

The committee, headed by Justice (Retd) Biplab Sarma submitted the report on February 25 last year and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal accepted the report on behalf of the Union Home Minister.

Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath said the student body would be forced to intensify the movement because of the failure of the government to even start the process of implementing the report. He said the issue would definitely have an impact on the ensuing State Assembly polls.

Nath pointed out that with the elections approaching, both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah have been frequently visiting the State, but they did not mention a single word about the Clause 6 committee report in their public rallies.

“This proves that the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister gave false promises to the people of Assam about implementing Clause 6 of the Accord,” he added.

Meanwhile, Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the delay on the part of the Centre and State government in implementing the report proved their lack of sincerity about protecting the interest of the indigenous people of Assam. Based on the bitter experience of the slow progress of implementation of the Assam Accord, the committee had recommended a time frame of two years for implementing its recommendations, but the governments at Delhi and Dispur did not even start the process of implementing the same in one year, he added.

Bhattacharya, who is also the adviser of the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO), said the committee had completed the report within the time frame given to it and as the Union Home Minister could not find time to receive it, the Chief Minister received the report. As both the governments were silent on the report, the AASU was forced to make it public, he said.

“The Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister had time and again promised to start the process of implementing the recommendations of the committee immediately after receiving the report, but now they do not even mention about it. On its part, the State government instead of putting pressure on the Centre to implement the report was trying to create confusion among the people as a senior minister has been giving conflicting statements on the issue,” he said.

Bhattacharya also warned that any attempt to dilute the recommendations of the committee on some pretext or the other would not be acceptable. He said constitutional protection for indigenous people of Assam is a must as the State had to take the burden of foreigners who entered the State during the period from 1951 to 1971.