Accord panel 'finalises definition of Assamese'

A high-level committee, which has been tasked with looking into how Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord could be implemented, is almost ready with its recommendations.

BCCL

The committee has broadly decided on the constitutional safeguards for the indigenous people and has finalised the definition of Assamese/indigenous in Clause 6.

Guwahati: A high-level committee, which has been tasked with looking into how Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord could be implemented, is almost ready with its recommendations, a member told ET. The committee has broadly decided on the constitutional safeguards for the indigenous people and has finalised the definition of Assamese/indigenous in Clause 6.

The 14-member panel’s deadline for submitting the recommendations expires on January 15. “We are almost ready with the recommendations. However, due to the ongoing protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, AASU members have not participated in the meeting recently. In the absence of AASU members, we have not been able to give a final shape to the recommendations,” the panel member, who did not wish to be named, said.

The students’ body is spearheading the protests against the CAA since last month. Clause 6 is a safeguard given to the people of Assam for assimilating aliens from 1951 to 1971. As per the Accord, foreigners who have entered the state after the cut-off date of March 24, 1971, irrespective of their religious affiliation, have to be deported.


The committee member said: “Clause 6 stipulates constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. However, to operationalise the recommendations, the definition of Assamese/indigenous is a must.” Earlier attempts to find a suitable definition of who is an Assamese/indigenous have not materialised, as there has been very little consensus on the definition put forward by different groups.
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