The attitude of the Central government on the report of the committee for suggesting measures for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord proved that it is not sincere on implementing the same. Moreover, by asking the Assam government to seek legal opinion on the report of the committee, the Centre is just buying time. This was the view of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
The Central government, on September 20, directed the Assam government to seek legal opinion on the Clause 6 committee’s report instead of taking responsibility of implementing the same. The AASU has strongly reacted to the move of the Government of India and alleged that the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister did not fulfil their promise.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya, who was also a member of the committee, said that at a time when the movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was at its peak, the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister had repeatedly announced that the government was waiting for the report of the committee and it would be implemented immediately after receiving the same.
Bhattacharya pointed out that the attitude of the Centre on the issue was doubtful from the time when the committee completed its report. The Joint Secretary (North East) of the Union Home Ministry was the member secretary of the committee, but he did not sign the report. All the committee members signed the report on February 10, but the member secretary could not attend the meeting. “The member secretary informed the chairman of the committee that he would sign the report and that is why a blank space was kept in the final report. But he did not sign the report, which raised doubts on the sincerity of the government on the issue,” he said.
The AASU chief adviser said that after the completion of the report, the committee’s chairman Justice (retd) Biplab Sarma communicated with the Centre thrice but the Union Home Minister could not find time to receive the report. Later, on February 24, the Chief Minister received the report on behalf of the Union Home Minister.
“Everyone thought that the Chief Minister handed over the report to the Union Home Minister but the cat was out of the bag on September 16 when Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy informed the Parliament that the report was still with the State government,” he added.
The Union Home Minister had a meeting with Chief Minister and State Health Minister on September 20 and directed them to get the report examined by legal experts. Reacting to the move, Bhattacharya said that the committee itself was headed by a retired judge of the Gauhati High Court, while the advocates general of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh were committee members.
“If the Centre wanted further legal opinion, the Law Ministry could have been asked to examine the report. But instead of doing so, the Centre again asked the State government to get the report examined by legal experts, which proved that the Centre has only adopted delaying tactics and it is not interested in implementing the recommendations,” he said.