Union moves MHA on Clause 6 implementation 

GUWAHATI: The All Assam Minorities’ Students Union (AAMSU) has urged the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to take corrective action against the alleged deviation on the part of the high-level committee constituted for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

In a memorandum submitted to the Union Home Secretary on Wednesday, AAMSU observed that the committee, while issuing public notice last month for views, comments, suggestions for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, “has deviated from Clause 6 of the Assam Accord by substituting the word Assamese people by some other words like indigenous tribal, indigenous Assamese and other indigenous people of Assam.”

“Any deviation of the Assam Accord is not acceptable at this stage. Therefore, we request you kindly to make an arrangement on priority to define the Assamese people who are eligible for safeguards instead of making any deviation of the Accord,” the memorandum by AAMSU read.

The union stated that it supported implementation of the Assam Accord in letter and spirit.

“We have extended full cooperation in NRC update for implementation of Clause 5 of the Assam Accord relating to the foreigners’ issue. We are also willing to extend our support and co-operation in implementation of Clause 6,” it stated.

A separate memorandum pointing out the same was also submitted to the chairman of the high-level committee.

The Assam Accord was signed on August 15, 1985 subsequent to the Assam Agitation of 1979-85.

Clause-6 of the Assam Accord states, “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.”

“However, it has been felt that Clause-6 has not been fully implemented even almost 35 years after the Accord was signed,” AAMSU said.

The students union further pointed out that in Clause 11 of the Assam Accord it is stated that restrictions should be ensured in acquisition of immovable property by foreigners.

“There is no bar in acquisition of immovable property by any citizen. Hence, the agenda relating to protection of land rights has no relevance for the high level committee on Clause 6 of Assam Accord and accordingly the agenda may be dropped,” it suggested.

AAMSU also highlighted that linguistic and religious minorities who are about 50 per cent of the state’s population have not been fairly represented in the high-level committee.

“Therefore, we request you to take appropriate steps for induction of adequate representatives of the minority communities before taking up further proceedings by the high level committee,” it said.

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