Guwahati: A fresh controversy has rocked the state with the high-power committee on the implementation of Clause 6, which failed to get an appointment with union home ministry, submitting its recommendations to the state chief secretary wherein it proposed 1951 as cut off date for defining who is “indigenous Assamese”.
The chairman of the committee, B.K. Sharma, a former judge of the Gauhati high court, said, “We had written three letters to the MHA stating that the report was ready and requested to let us know when it would like to receive it. We have done our work and the report is now available with the Assam Accord implementation department.”
The MHA had reconstituted the panel in 2019, making joint secretary Satyendra Garg its member secretary.
Sources in the home ministry said that there was no consensus on some of the recommendations of the committee. “The state government will be responsible for implementing the suggestions of the committee. It will examine the report and forward it with comments to MHA,” sources in the MHA said.
The panel has given recommendations for the implementation of the clause 6 on providing constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to the ‘Assamese people’.
Earlier, it was said that home ministry would be dealing directly with the committee for implementing the Clause 6.
Meanwhile, the opposition All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (Aamsu) have raised strong objections to 1951 being made the cut off year for defining who is an Assamese.
AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said, “If 1951 is the cut-off year for deciding who are the Assamese people, what will happen to those who entered Assam between 1951 and 1971 and are already enjoying privilege as citizens of India?”
He wondered what would be the fate of those who entered the country until 2014 and may get citizenship as the Citize-nship (Amendment) Act is implemented. “If their rights and privileges are infringed upon, it may trigger permanent unrest. The Assamese people or the term indigenous in Assam should be defined on the basis of March 24, 1971 as has been fixed in the Assam Accord for the detection and deportation of foreigners,” said Mr Islam.
Aamsu adviser Azizur Rahman was of the opinion that the new date would further complicate the foreigners’ issue.
“About 35 per cent of the people of Assam do not have their 1951 National Register of Citizens data,” said Mr Rahman.