AJP questions Sonowal's silence on HLC report on Clause 6

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Guwahati, Feb 19 (PTI) The recently floated political outfit Assam Jatiya Parishad Friday questioned Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal's silence on the report of the High level Committee (HLC) on Clause 6 of Assam Accord and asserted that the state government cannot wash its hands off it.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has adopted an 'escapist attitude' by being silent on the issue, while one of his cabinet ministers announced that it cannot be implemented as it does not have 'legal reality', AJP General Secretary Jagadish Bhuyan said.

The state government is trying to give an impression that the recommendations of the report do not fall under its purview and is trying to wash its hand off it. But most of the recommendations will have to be implemented by it, he said.

State finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said on Wednesday that the government cannot implement the Committee's recommendations as those were far from 'legal reality'.

The 14-member Committee was set up by the Centre and submitted its report in February 2020. It is headed by Justice (Retd) B K Sarma and has two Advocate Generals - Ramesh Borpatrogohain of Assam and Nilay Dutta of Arunachal Pradesh as ist members, Bhuyan said in a statement here.

The High Level Committee had submitted its report to Sonowal for handing it over to Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

'Does the Assam government mean that all these legal luminaries do not know law and has submitted a report without taking into consideration the legal aspects? This is an insult to them and the chief minister must apologise to them,' Bhuyan said.

The state government is trying to give an impression that the recommendations of the report do not fall under its purview and is trying to wash its hand off it. But most of the recommendations will have to be implemented by it, he said.

Besides, the recommendations regarding the safeguard of linguistic and cultural identities of the indigeneous Assamese will have to be be ensured by the state government, he added.

The All Assam Students' Union (AASU), under whose initiative the AJP was formed, said there will be no compromise on Clause 6 of Assam Accord. It alleged that Sonowal has positioned himself at a safe distance and appointed another person to insult the report.

The Clause 6 of the Assam Accord seeks to provide constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to the indigenous people of the state to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath and general secretary Sankarjyoti Barua strongly criticised Sonowal for his alleged lack of knowledge, 'inefficiency and escapist mentality'.

'We will never forgive Sonowal for this stand,' they said.

The opposition Congress also sought to know why the state government was yet to make an official statement on the status of the Committee's report and why Sonowal and Shah are silent on it. PTI DG KK KK KK