Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said the sacrifices and heroism of the martyrs of the Assam Agitation against foreigners in the state will continue to inspire people to embark on a new economic and political movement for the survival of the Assamese community.

Despite the sacrifices of several hundred youths during the movement, the Assamese community is still unsafe and rather more vulnerable as huge tracts of land of the state have been encroached, the chief minister said while speaking at a programme, organised by the Assam Accord Implementation Department on the occasion of Shahid Divas (Martyrs Day) here.

The Assam Accord was signed in 1985 after a six-year-long violent anti-foreigners movement. It stated, among other clauses, that names of all foreigners settling in Assam on or after March 25, 1971 will be detected and deleted from electoral rolls, and steps will be taken to deport them.

The Assamese people have lost economic power while their political authority is greatly challenged now and people must introspect and make the Assamese community stronger, Sarma said.

The chief minister also released the second and third volume of the database on Assam Agitation titled Asom Andolonor Tathyakosh and announced a Rs 5 crore corpus fund to benefit people affected by the movement.

The first martyr of the agitation was Khargeswar Talukdar who had sacrificed his life for safeguarding “our land from the aggression of illegal migrants at Bhabanipur on this day in 1979 while taking part at the spontaneous mass movement,” Sarma said.

More than 850 people of the state had lost their lives in the agitation and their sacrifices would continue to inspire the people to move ahead with the new economic and political movement launched in the state for the greater interest of the Assamese community, he said.

The present government has been working hard for the last six months to rebuild the community and “I urge people to unite themselves to safeguard the language, art and culture and land rights of the Assamese people”, he said.

The state government has been making unrelenting efforts to boost harmony within the community and the eviction at Gorukhuti in Sipajhar and the agricultural revolution it has launched is the beginning of a new movement for regaining the rights of the Assamese people, Sarma said.

He also appealed to those who have chosen the path of violence to join the peace process to boost this new movement.

Alcohol in Assam is now dearer by 15 pc. Details here

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