Guwahati: Expressing discontent over Assam state government’s role in the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protest in December last year, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has decided to skip the Clause 6 report submission function on Tuesday.
Speaking with EastMojo, AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said that the state government played a negative role during the wide-scale agitation. “The government, which was formed on the premise of jati-mati-bheti, has betrayed the sentiments of the common people of Assam. Therefore, we are not going to participate in the function”
Nonetheless, Gogoi clarified, “Participating in the ceremony is not important for us. The important part is implementation of the report.”
Clause 6 of the Assam Accord envisages that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards should be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the ethnic Assamese.
The report has been prepared by a high-powered committee set up by the union home ministry on July 15, 2019, to recommend constitutional safeguards to protect the interests of the ethnic Assamese within six months. However, the term of the high-level Committee had to be extended by a month up to February 15, 2020.
The AASU leader said it is the duty of the Central government to receive the report in a respectable manner. The report was ready on February 10, but after 15-16 days, now the state government is going to collect the report.
The expert panel had prepared the report on February 10 and communicated thrice with the union home ministry for submission, but to no avail, said Gogoi.
On Saturday, Assam finance minister announced that union home minister Amit Shah asked Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to receive the report on his behalf. The state will accept the report in a ceremony on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the report has been sealed in an envelope and kept under the safe custody of the Assam Accord Implementation Department (AAID), Assam.
Speaking on the roles of state governments, Gogoi claimed that all political parties have betrayed the people of Assam, be it the former Congress government or the third front, or the current NDA government.
He said that with the clause 6 report ready, “It is time to respect the people and the sacrifices of the common people [of Assam].”
The people were protesting against infiltration, which is a threat to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of India. Hence, it is a national issue, he added.