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State Govt for asylum to post-Partition victims

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 16 � The State Government will request the Union Government to frame a policy on humanitarian grounds, for granting asylum to the persons who were Indian citizens at the time of Partition of the country, but had to flee their homes and hearths in the face of religious persecution and discrimination in the newly carved-out country and had to take refuge in India. The State Cabinet at its meeting today, approved this approach of the State Government on the issue, said an official press release here.

State Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain, who is also the spokesman of the State Government, told this newspaper that the State Cabinet at its meeting here today favoured granting of citizenship rights to those persons in Assam in line with Gujarat and Rajasthan.

These people should be accorded the basic human rights, instead of being treated as foreign nationals. They should not be subjected to deportation, the Cabinet observed at its meeting.

Hussain informed further that Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had, in a memorandum submitted to the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on April 20, 2012, suggested that such persons deserved humanitarian treatment. However, under the existing system and laws, such persons are liable to face prosecution, expulsion and deportation, the Chief Minister said in the memorandum to Dr Singh.

The official press release said the Cabinet affirmed September 1, 2014 as the date for implementation of the National Food Security (NFS) Act in the State. The scheme would cover more than 2.50 crore beneficiaries.

It decided that firm steps should be taken to deal with the prevailing law-and-order situation and to prevent recurrence of violence in BTAD. As part of security measures, it decided to set up fixed police pickets in the vulnerable areas.

It decided to regularise the excess posts of 453 school teachers of Sivasagar, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji, who were given appointments during the AGP regime. Till the regularisation of their posts, the teachers would get a fixed pay.

It decided to form a subsidiary company of the Assam State Transport Corporation as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to receive and operate the buses being provided under the JNNURM scheme for urban transportation in Assam.

It further decided to raise loans amounting to Rs 297.99 lakh from NABARD for flood control, irrigation, fisheries, agriculture, animal husbandry and veterinary, soil conservation, public works (roads), handloom, textiles and sericulture projects.

The meeting approved the proposal for establishment of an Assam Food and Civil Supplies Corporation and its registration with an authorised capital of Rs 300 crore. It also approved the policy for maintenance of State roads comprising highways, major district roads, municipal and rural roads along with requirement for preparation of a Road

Maintenance Plan and setting up of the Assam Road Maintenance Fund. The amount in the fund would be dedicated for maintenance of State roads in accordance with the Road Maintenance Policy and Plan.

The Cabinet also approved issue of an Ordinance to amend the Assam Agricultural University Act and provide for enhancement of the age of superannuation of the Vice Chancellor, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat from 65 years to 70 years.

It decided to make ex-gratia payment of Rs 3 lakh to the next of kin of the persons from Assam killed outside the State subsequent to the ethnic violence, which occurred in BTAD and other neighbouring areas in 2012.

The Cabinet further approved appointment of Everesters Tarun Saikia and Manish Kumar Deka as coaches-cum-instructors for mountaineering and adventure under the Sports and Youth Welfare Department.

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