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Assam Accord & its Clause 6

  Aug 13, 2020

Assam Accord & its Clause 6

The All Assam Students Union (AASU) made public a high-level committee’s confidential report on the implementation of 1985 Assam Accord’s Clause 6, which pertains to safeguards for the preservation and promotion of Assamese identity and heritage.

Q. Which committee is this?

A. In February, a government-appointed committee had submitted its recommendations for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, a key provision that has been contentious for decades.

The committee was set up by the Home Ministry in 2019. Headed by retired High Court judge Biplab Kumar Sarma.

Its brief was to define the “Assamese people” and suggest measures for the safeguard of their rights.

Q. What does Clause 6 say?

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, which was signed in 1985 after the Assam Agitation of 1979-85, 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 people of Assam.” This Clause was inserted to safeguard the socio-political rights and culture of the “indigenous people of Assam”.

Q. What is Assam Accord?

Q. What are some of key recommendations of committee?

A. The committee has proposed that the following be considered Assamese people for the purpose of Clause 6:

Q. What are the implications and impacts of these recommendations?

A. Clause 6 is meant to give the Assamese people certain safeguards, which would not be available to migrants between 1951 and 1971.

If the recommendation is accepted, those who migrated between 1951 and 1971 would be Indian citizens under the Assam Accord and NRC, but they would not be eligible for safeguards meant for “Assamese people”.

Q. What are these safeguards?