R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Oct 12 - In addition to the suggestions put forward by different organisations and individuals, the committee formed by the Government of India to suggest recommendations for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord will give due consideration to the report of a former Assembly Speaker and decisions of the tripartite committee formed earlier on the issue.
Sources in the committee told The Assam Tribune that former Assam Assembly Speaker Pranab Gogoi had prepared a detailed report on implementation of Clause 6 of the accord, which provides for constitutional safeguards to the Assamese people, after consultation with different organisations of the State. It was tabled in the State Assembly in 2015. Sources said the committee would give due importance to the former Speaker’s report while formulating its recommendations.
Sources pointed out that in the late 1990s, the Central government formed a tripartite committee headed by the then Joint Secretary (North East) of the Ministry of Home Affairs to suggest measures for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who was the president of the All Assam Students’ Union at that time, was also a member of the committee. The minutes of the meetings of the committee and the decisions taken will also be taken into consideration, sources said.
Sources also revealed that at least a thousand individuals and organisations have submitted their suggestions in response to the request by the committee and those are now being scrutinised by the members. Most of the individuals and organisations have stressed the need for reservation of seats in Assembly, Parliament and local bodies for indigenous people of the State, preservation of the language, culture and literature of all the ethnic groups, etc.
The committee will hold a meeting with newspaper editors and other media to seek their opinion, while talks will also be held with representatives of all ethnic and tribal organisations, including literary bodies. It will also take opinion of legal and constitutional experts on the issue.