Monday, 30th October 2017

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Re-notify Clause 6, say groups

The high-power committee is expected to submit its recommendations to the Centre in about five months

By A Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 31.10.19, 1:00 AM
  • Updated 31.10.19, 1:00 AM
  • a min read
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The meeting in progress on Wednesday (UB Photos)

A conglomeration of almost all the major tribal organisations of Assam on Wednesday demanded that the Centre re-notify the terms of references of the high-power committee it had constituted to suggest how to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

The Coordination Committee of the Tribal Organisations of Assam met members of the committee at the Administrative Staff College here on Wednesday and submitted a memorandum of demands and suggestions.

The high-power committee, which was notified last month and has been holding hearings with various organisations, is expected to submit its recommendations to the Centre in about five months.

Clause 6 envisages providing appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the “Assamese people”. These were the terms of reference given by the Union home ministry while forming the high-power committee.

The coordination committee pointed out that the high-power committee, in its advertisements, changed the terminology “Assamese people” to “indigenous tribal, indigenous Assamese and other indigenous people of Assam.”

Mentioning that “there is silence about the safeguards of the tribal/indigenous people of Assam in the main content of Clause 6,” the memorandum said the Union ministry of home affairs “should re-notify the terms of reference to make the content more inclusive by mentioning it as Indigenous tribal, indigenous Assamese and other indigenous people of Assam in place of Assamese people.”

It also demanded that the Centre constitute a committee to implement Clause 10 of the Assam Accord, on the lines of the one formed to implement Clause 6. “The matter of eviction of encroachers from tribal belts and blocks is incorporated in Clause 10 but unfortunately, this clause has been left unattended to and neglected by successive governments,” the memorandum said. Several organisations representing indigenous communities of the state have met the high-power committee and submitted their suggestions.

On November 1, the committee will meet the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, several other leading organisations and one political party, whose name has not been disclosed yet. On November 2, it will hear the views of only political parties.