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Govt notifies high-level committee to review Clause 6 of Assam Accord

Date: 17 July 2019 Tags: Commissions & Committees

Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has notified a high-level committee to suggest constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards as envisaged in Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. It will be headed by retired Gauhati High Court judge Biplab Kumar Sarma. Clause 6 of Assam Accord provides for Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of Assamese people.

Composition of Committee: Justice (retd) Biplab Kumar Sarma (Chairman). Its members include Assam’s A-G Ramesh Borpatragohain, Arunachal Pradesh’s A-G Niloy Dutta, retired IAS officer Subhash Das, retired IPS Pallav Bhattacharya, academics Srishtidhar Dutta and Jaikanta Sharma, author Sumanta Chaliha, and journalist Wasbir Hussain.

Mandate for the Committee

  • Review implementation of clause 6 of the Assam Accord and examine the effectiveness of actions taken since 1985 to implement Clause 6.
  • Look into need for reservation in government jobs for Assamese people, besides recommending measures required to preserve the culture and identity of the local people.
  • Suggest measures to be taken to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam.
  • Suggest any other measures as may be necessary to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

Assam Accord (1985)

It is Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of Government of India and leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August 1985. It had brought end to six year Assam Agitation (launched by the All Assam Students’ Union in 1979) demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants. This agitation had culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord and paved way for agitation leaders to form political party and form government in the state of Assam soon after.

As per the Accord, those illegal Bangladeshis who came between 1966 and 1971 will be barred from voting for 10 years. It also mentions that Assam’s international borders will be sealed and all persons who crossed over from Bangladesh after 1971 are to be deported. Its Clause 6 provides for Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of Assamese people.