Clause 6 panel gets extension
The Centre has given another month to the high-powered committee on implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord to submit its report.
The Union home ministry had formed the committee in July last year to suggest how to implement Clause 6. It was given six months to submit the report, that is, till this month.
On Wednesday, the ministry notified the extension but did not mention the reason. “The committee will submit its report within seven months from the date of notification,” it said, adding that the other terms and condition would remain unchanged.
The extension follows Union home minister Amit Shah’s meeting with a four-member delegation of the 14-member committee in New Delhi on Monday to give the Centre’s suggestions on implementation of Clause 6, which promises constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the “Assamese” people.
A member of the committee told The Telegraph that they did not seek extension for submission of their report. “The extra time has been given to ensure that no mistake or loophole creeps into the report,” the member said.
The committee’s chairman, Justice (retd) Biplab Kumar Sarma had said on Monday that they would be able to submit the report within a fortnight. All the members will meet here on Friday.
“We hope it will be ready within 15 days,” Sarma had said, adding that the committee would meet after Bhogali Bihu to incorporate some small but important things into the report.
Amid statewide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which aims to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who entered the country before 2015, the ruling BJP in Assam has been boasting about the formation of the committee as a “sincere” attempt by the Centre to protect the interests of the indigenous people of Assam.