| Members of the Lakhimpur District Students Union stage a hunger strike at Tyagshetra in Lakhimpur on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, Aug. 14: The Opposition AGP today blamed the Centre for non-implementation of the Assam Accord even after 28 years of signing.
The All Assam Students Union (AASU), too, began a two-day statewide protest programme against non-implementation of some important clauses of the Accord, which was signed between the Assam government, the Centre, the union and Assam Gana Sangram Parishad on August 15, 1985.
AASU members sat on a hunger strike from 6am today in all district headquarters of the state. The strike will continue till 9am tomorrow, when the national flag will be unfurled.
Addressing the media at the party headquarters here today, AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said the indigenous communities in the state had become apprehensive about their future because of non-implementation of the Accord by the Centre.
He said the Centre would have to take the blame for its non-implementation, as the Union home ministry was the nodal implementing agency. “Only a few clauses have been implemented, and that too, because of persistent pressure by various organisations such as the AGP and AASU. But the main clauses regarding detection, deletion and deportation of illegal migrants is yet to be implemented,” Mahanta, who was the president of AASU when the Accord was signed, said.
He also demanded that the Centre must sign a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh for repatriation of its nationals who had illegally migrated to Assam. “Because of the absence of a bilateral agreement, those identified as illegal migrants by the tribunals and court are currently being pushed into Bangladesh by the BSF. This method is not very effective because these people return to India after some time,” Mahanta said.
Mahanta criticised both the Congress governments in the Centre and the state for not being able to keep the promise made by former Prime Minister late Rajiv Gandhi in his Independence Day address from the Red Fort on August 15, 1985, to implement the Assam Accord to protect the rights and identity of the indigenous people of Assam.
He said the Congress Working Committee’s decision to create Telangana had opened a Pandora’s box of demands for separate states in Assam. He said the Centre’s inaction on providing constitutional safeguards to the indigenous people of the state had caused the latter to become concerned about protecting their identity, leading to demands for separate states by these communities.
He also criticised the Congress for signing the land-swap deal with Bangladesh. “Bangladesh will get around 800 acres of Assam’s land while Assam will not get even an inch of land from that country,” he said.
Mahanta also hit out at the state government for not being able to control price-rise, as a result of which onion prices had skyrocketed in the state.