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Demand for Constitutional safeguard for indigenous people of State

The joint meeting held by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) with the Khilonjiya Janajati Sahitya Sabha, Assam (the joint platform of the literary bodies of the indigenous tribal people of the State) yesterday reiterated the demand for Constitutional safeguard for the indigenous people of the State. The meeting also demanded a National Register of Citizens (NRC) sans the name of any foreign national.

The meeting demanded that the supremacy and control of the indigenous peoples in the State’s affairs should remain intact.
It needs mention here that the Khilonjiya Sahitya Sabha is the joint platform of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha, Rabha Sahitya Sabha, Mising Sahitya Sabha, Tiwa Sahitya Sabha, Deuri Sahitya Sabha, Karbi Sahitya Sabha, Dimasa Sahitya Sabha and Garo Sahitya Sabha.

The joint meeting demanded that the report of the Harishankar Brahma Committee for ‘Protection of Land Rights of the Indigenous People of Assam,’ should be made public and steps should be taken to benefit the State’s indigenous peoples. The Constitutional safeguard to the indigenous people of the State should be granted on the basis of the reports of former Assam Assembly Speaker Pranab Gogoi, together with the decisions adopted at the meetings with former Union Home Secretary GK Pillai.

The Constitutional safeguard to the indigenous people should cover the issues concerning reservation of seats in the local governing bodies, State Assembly, Parliament, reservation of State Government jobs and jobs in the Central Government offices, semi-Central Government offices, Central PSUs and private sector offices located in the State for the indigenous people, protection to the languages, culture and heritage of indigenous people, among others, the participants of the meeting said.

The meeting also decided to hold more discussions for the purpose of chalking out the future course of action on the issue of Constitutional safeguard to the indigenous peoples.

Reacting to the reports that some circles are trying to protect the interest of the illegal migrants, whose names may not feature the final NRC, the participants of the meeting warned all these circles not to indulge in such activities any further. The illegal migrants who failed to get their names entered in the final NRC should be expelled from the State, they asserted.

The participants of the meeting, however, made it clear that they would extend all sorts of support to those indigenous peoples whose names fail to feature in the final NRC. They also made an appeal to the people of the State to maintain peace and amity following the publication of the final NRC.

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