In July this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had reconstituted the High Level Committee to study steps taken to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. This committee is now seeking comments and suggestions from the public on the subject.
Image Courtesy: Hindustan Times
The Assam Accord was signed in 1985 after a violent agitation demanding the identification and deportation of illegal immigrants from Assam. Clause 6 of the Assam Accord deals with constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards. The objective is to “protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of Assamese people.”
The newly reconstituted committee was tasked with the following responsibilities:
(a) The Committee will examine the effectiveness of actions taken since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
(b) The Committee will hold discussions with various stakeholders including social organizations, legal and constitutional experts, eminent persons from the field of art, culture and literature, conservationists, economists, linguists and sociologists.
(c) The Committee will assess the appropriate level of reservation of seats in Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for the Assamese people.
(d) The Committee will also suggest measures to be taken to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam.
(e) The Committee will recommend the appropriate level of reservations in employment under the Government of Assam for the Assamese people.
(f) The Committee may suggest any other measures as may be necessary to protect, preserve and promote cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
The committee is being serviced by the North East division of the Ministry of Home Affairs and is expected to file a report within 6 months from the date of the notification about its reconstitution.
In accordance with the above the committee issued the following notification on August 22, 2019.
Opinions of various stakeholders, social organisations and individuals are being sought on the subjects of reservation for indigenous people in legislative bodies and government jobs, protection of Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam, and protection of land rights of indigenous people. The term indigenous here includes indigenous tribals, indigenous Assamese and other indigenous people of Assam. The last date for submitting suggestions in September 20.