Home Minister Rajnath Singh Credit: Twitter image

Guwahati: In a major development, Union home minister Rajnath Singh has announced the setting up of a high-level committee to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

The clause envisages that “appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people,” Union home minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday.

The composition and terms of reference of the committee, which will also look at issues related to the Bodo community, will be announced later.

The Clause 6 of the historic Assam Accord, which was the culmination of a six-year-long Assam Agitation, has been a long-standing demand in the state.

The committee will engage with various stakeholders in Assam to asses the quantum of reservation of seats in the state assembly and other local bodies. The committee will have the task of assessing various measures required to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of the state. The committee will also assess measures to protect, preserve and promote cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of Assamese people.

The Cabinet also approved the establishment of a Bodo Musuem-cum-language and cultural study centre, modernisation of the existing All India Radio Stations and Doordarshan Kendra in Kokrajhar and naming of a superfast train passing through the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) as Aronai Express.

Welcoming the approval of high-level committee, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal said in a statement: “The decision is historic for the interest of the indigenous Assamese people and to protect the language and culture of Assam.”

However, reacting to the Centre’s announcement, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said: “The announcement made by Rajnath Singh has nothing new.” The apex students’ body further accused the government of fooling the people of Assam by forming committees.

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