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MHA panel’s suggestion irks Bengali Hindus in Assam

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Feb 26, 2020, 6:25 am IST
Updated : Feb 26, 2020, 6:25 am IST

The ministry of home affairs formed the Clause 6 committee in July 2019 to hold discussions with stakeholders.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal
 Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal

Guwahati: The day the high-power co-mmittee on implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord submitted its recommendation to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Bengali Hindus — many of whom migrated to Assam till 1971 — have expressed fear that they may not be included among the category of “Indigenous Assamese” for whom the constitutional safeguard is sought under Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

The president of the All Assam Bengali Youth Stu-dents’ Federation (AABY-SF), Mahananda Sarkar Dutta, has appealed to members of the Clause 6 committee to clear doubts in the minds of Bengalis of Assam about proposed definition of being “indigenous Assamese”.

This comes close on the heels of the Clause 6 committee formally handing over its recommendation to Mr Sonowal, who on behalf of the ministry of home affairs, received the recommendation of the committee here on Tuesday.

The ministry of home affairs had formed the committee in July 2019 asking it to submit its recommendation on implementing Clause 6 within six months. The panel was assigned the task of holding discussions with all the stakeholders and recommending an effective mechanism to implement Clause 6 and assess the quantum of reservation of the seats in the Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for indigenous Assamese people.

The move has surcharged the atmosphere of the state once again with many organisations raising objections to proposed recommendation of the committee to decide 1951 as the cut-off year for the identification of indigenous Assamese.  

After the opposition of minority organisations, the AABYSF has demanded the inclusion of all Bengalis as “Assamese people” who settled in the state on or before March 24, 1971.

“Many Bengalis are confused with the Clause 6 committee report,” said the president of the federation. It is being said the migrants, who came to Assam from 1951 to 1971 are being allowed to settle down in the state, but, some people are hesitant to accept them as “Assamese people”.

Tags: assam accord, sarbananda sonowal