Other States

Assam Accord Clause 6 panel’s report not examined yet

A Bihu performance in Guwahati. Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord seeks constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. File   | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Assam government has not examined the report of a panel formed for recommending measures for the implementation of Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord that had ended a six-year agitation against illegal immigration.

The clause seeks to guarantee constitutional safeguards for the Assamese people.

Assam’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said the process of engaging legal experts to examine the report containing the recommendations of the Justice Sarma Committee was on. In a written reply to a question from Congress MLA and opposition leader Debabrata Saikia, he attributed the delay to the “situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs had in July 2019 constituted the 14-member panel headed by retired Gauhati High Court judge Biplab Kumar Sarma.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had accepted the report on behalf of the MHA after it was finalised in February. The proposals included reservation of 80-100% seats in the Assembly, Parliament and local bodies for the indigenous people and introduction of British-era Inner-Line Permit system in the State.

The committee also recommended that Indian citizens who were in the State in 1951 should be treated as “Assamese” for the purpose of giving reservation.

ST status

The State government has also not been able to collect data on six communities demanding Scheduled Tribe (ST) status, documents submitted by Chandan Brahma, Minister for Welfare of Plains Tribes and Other Backward Classes, in the Assembly revealed.

The data being collected include the population of each of the six communities — Chutiya, Koch-Rajbongshi, Matak, Moran, Tai-Ahom and ‘Tea Tribes’.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 1:02:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/assam-accord-clause-6-panels-report-not-examined-yet/article33446574.ece

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