Guwahati: Nearly 1.44 lakh illegal foreigners have been identified in Assam till January 31 this year, on the basis of the Assam Accord inked in 1985, and the authorities have deported around 30,000 of them, the state government informed the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

The definitions of Asomiya janagan’ (Assamese people), khilonjia’ (indigenous) and adi basinda’ (original inhabitants), as mentioned in the Accord, are yet to be determined, it said.

Assam Accord Implementation Minister Atul Bora, in reply to a question by AGP legislator Ramendra Narayan Kalita, said 1,44,077 illegal foreigners have been identified in the state till January 31, 2022, on the basis of the Assam Accord.

Out of them, 30,014 have been deported to their country of origin, the minister said.

According to the Assam Accord, signed on August 15, 1985, all foreigners who came to Assam on or after March 25, 1971, and stayed illegally would be detected and steps would be taken to deport them.

On the progress of fencing along the India-Bangladesh border in Assam, the minister said 98.35 per cent of work has been completed.

The fencing work on a 4.35 km stretch in Karimganj sector has not been completed due to issues raised by Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and discussions are on to resolve the matter, he added.

Assam shares a 263 km border with Bangladesh.

Bora also said the state government, after consultation with the Centre, is in the process of forming a legal experts’ panel to deal with the constitutional and legal aspects that may arise for implementing recommendations of a high-level committee that was formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

But due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, there has been some delay in forming the committee, he said.

The committee, headed by former judge of Gauhati High Court Justice Biplab Kumar Sarma, was mandated to suggest measures for effective implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

As per the Clause 6, Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

The committee was formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the request of the Assam chief minister in 2019 and it had submitted its report to the chief minister on February 25, 2020.

In reply to another question by Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, Bora said a sub-committee has been formed to take forward implementation of Clause 6.

In another reply to a query by BJP legislator Terash Gowalla, Bora said out of total 15 Clauses in the Assam Accord, some have already been implemented.

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