No compromise on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord: AASU reacts to Himanta's comment

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Guwahati, Feb 18 (PTI) The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) on Thursday said there will be no compromise on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, a day after minister Himanta Biswa Sarma termed the recommendations of a central panel inapplicable.

Issuing a statement, AASU president Dipanka Kumar Nath and general secretary Sankarjyoti Barua strongly criticised the stand of the Assam government led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

'Sonowal has positioned himself at a safe distance and appointed another person to insult the report. This shows his lack of knowledge, inefficiency and escapist mentality. We will never forgive Sonowal for his stand,' it said.

The comment from a minister on Wednesday regarding the report of the committee reflects the 'irresponsible nature' of Sonowal, who has not even read the suggestions, the AASU leaders claimed.

The AASU also criticised Sonowal for not forwarding the report to the Centre despite promising earlier to do so immediately.

'The Union Home Minister had promised to implement the report in letter and spirit within one week of its receipt.

But yesterday's comment proves that everything was bluff,' the release said.

Sarma on Wednesday said the government cannot implement the recommendations of the Centre's committee on Clause-6 of the Assam Accord as those are 'far from legal reality' of this land.

'The recommendations given by the committee are far from the legal reality of this land. There are many Supreme Court judgements which say the report cannot be implemented.

Then how can we implement those?... I think those were not recommendations, but their (panel's) expectations only,' he had said.

This is the first time a senior minister of the government spoke about the recommendations of the report, which was submitted to Sonowal on February 25 last year for handing it over to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

On February 11, Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi said in Assam Assembly that the state is still examining the Clause-6 report, prepared by Justice Biplab Kumar Sarma-led High-Level Committee (HLC) of the Union Home Ministry, and has not forwarded it to the Union government for consideration.

With the government 'sitting idle', the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and Arunachal Pradesh Advocate General Nilay Dutta, who were part of the committee, on August 11 last year released the confidential report, saying that the public has the right to know the contents.

As per Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

The bone of contention since the signing of the Accord on August 15, 1985 has been the definition of Assamese people, which the committee tried to fix as the tribal, indigenous and all other Indian citizens residing within the territory of Assam as per the First Schedule of the Constitution on or before January 1, 1951 along with their descendants.

Reacting to Sarma's comment, the Congress sought to know that why Sonowal and Shah have not said anything about the report.

'Why has the chief minister or the Union home minister not said anything? Why there has been no official intimation on it,' state Congress Spokesperson Bobbeeta Sharma told PTI.

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