Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on June 1 made it clear that NRC is a primary and priority agenda of the government as it is providing all logistic support for a complete and flawless NRC.
The NRC update process in Assam is going on under the supervision of the Supreme Court and the final draft will be released on June 30, as mandated by the apex court.
Sonowal said that the state government would take up a time-bound action plan for the implementation of Assam Accord and a comprehensive and exhaustive mechanism would be adopted for the protection of tribal belt and block, constitutional safeguard of indigenous people of the state.
Meeting the representatives of 29 students and indigenous organisations led by All Assam Students Union at Assam Administrative Staff College in Guwahati on June 1, chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal made it clear that the state government is working in tandem with the Centre for sealing of the remaining portions of Indo-Bangladesh border by December 31.
Sonowal also informed that the government is taking the help of barbed fencing, smart fencing as well as technological solutions for sealing the entire stretch of the international border that Assam shares with Bangladesh.
Sharing the message given by Union home minister Rajnath Singh during his meeting with the state government on May 30 in New Delhi, Sonowal said that the Centre before taking any decision on the Citizenship (Amendment Bill), 2016 would consult the people of Assam and all sections of the people would be taken into confidence. Allaying the fear of the people surrounding the proposed amendment of the Bill, Sonowal said that protection and providing security to the people of the state is the primary duty and responsibility of the government. He also asked the people of the state not to be apprehensive over the Citizenship Bill as the government would not indulge in anything against the interest of the people of the state. He also said that regarding Citizenship Amendment Bill, he already held talks with the senior citizens, intellectuals, senior journalists and editors and informed everybody that state government would not compromise with the inherent interests of the people of the state.
“The state government is committed to ensure implementation of all clauses of the Assam Accord and it is with the spirit of the Accord that the government is extending all possible support for a correct NRC which will be a landmark achievement of the government,” he said.
Sonowal also said that the present state government since its very beginning has been working in accordance with the aims and aspirations of the people of Assam and the government under any circumstances would not work against the interests of the people. Sonowal also appealed to all the organisations and all sections of the people of Assam to show restraint and help to maintain law and order after the draft publication of the NRC on June 30, the same way they cooperated with the government machinery after the publication of the first draft NRC on December 31, 2017.
On the demand made by different organisations including AASU for signing a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh for the deportation of the illegal Bangladeshi nationals living in Assam, Sonowal assured them to send the proposal to the Centre for a concrete step on the issue. Sonowal also requested them to extend their all possible help for the welfare of the people of the state. He also said that the government would undertake frequent dialogues with the student bodies in the near future.
Sonowal also said that in order to claim ownership on land, people needs land pattas. Therefore, his government after coming to power took steps and formed a committee under the chairmanship of former chief election commissioner Harishankar Brahma and the state government would implement the recommendations of the committee to ensure ownership of the indigenous people on land.
Chief adviser of AASU Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya, president Dipanka Kumar Nath, general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi, general secretary of All Assam Tribal Sangha Aditya Khaklari, president of All Bodo Students’ Union Promod Bodo, advisor of All Koch Rajbongshi Students’ Union Hiteshwar Barman and office bearers of other organisations put forward their suggestions on the current situations of the state.
Samujjal Bhattacharjya also said that all the indigenous students’ organisations including AASU have their complete faith and trust on the leadership of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and urged upon him to take pragmatic steps to safeguard the interests of the indigenous people of Assam.