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Assam’s clause 6 panel suggests ILP, reservations in Assembly and jobs

Clause 6 provides for constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect the cultural, social heritage of the Assamese people. The panel in its preliminary report is said to have suggested the introduction of Inner Line Permit, reservation of seats in the legislative assembly and local bodies, and reservations in employment for the Assamese.

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2020, 07.49 AM IST
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Assamese actor Barsha Rani Bishaya with anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protesters in Guwahati on Sunday
New Delhi | Guwahati: The committee on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord has in a draft report suggested constitutional safeguards, among other steps, to protect the identity and heritage of the Assamese people, sources in the know said.

The Centre has granted a onemonth extension to the committee. Before that, it sought the preliminary report based on which the final recommendations are being firmed up, they said.

Clause 6 provides for constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

The panel in its preliminary report is learnt to have suggested the introduction of Inner Line Permit, reservation of seats in the legislative assembly and local bodies, and reservations in employment for the Assamese people. After it submitted the draft, deliberations were held between home minister Amit Shah and senior members of the committee on January 13, and it was decided to grant it time till February 15 to finalise the report, the sources said.

Retired high court judge Biplab Kumar Sarma, who heads the panel, said it would submit the recommendation in 10-15 days. In New Delhi, Sarma said: “This meeting (with the home minister) was in connection with seeking suggestions from the Centre for we had already sought suggestions from different stakeholders including the state government.”

A home ministry official didn’t respond until press time on Sunday to a WhatsApp message seeking comment.

The committee will hold discussions with the attorney general of India before submitting its final report, said a member of the committee, who did not want to be named. “The panel has members from the legal fraternity but it is always better to have a second check,” this person said.

On being asked about the draft report, All Assam Students Union (AASU) general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi told ET: “The draft is ready and final touches are given. There has been a series of meeting recently.” The AASU has three representatives on the 14-member panel.

Another member of the committee said: “Provision of an upper house (in Assam legislature) and finding a holistic definition as to who is Assamese are some issues which we are deliberating. There is a suggestion to ensure that Assamese language remains the official language for there is a fear that with the coming of the Citizenship Act, there will be an increase in the number of Bengali-speaking people.”

As per its mandate, the high-level committee is examining the effectiveness of actions taken since 1985 to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

Also Read

Assembly to ratify clause 6 Assamese definition: Himanta

Assam government receives Clause 6 report

Centre unlikely to accept some recommendations of Clause 6 committee

Assam Accord Panel on Clause 6 to Submit Suggestions by January 15

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