Guwahati: All Assam Students Union (AASU) reasserted its demands of Constitutional safeguard for the indigenous people of Assam, protection of government and tribal land in the state and updation of a correct NRC. A meeting between the Assam government and AASU leaders was held after 16 years in Guwahati on Tuesday (September 7) to discuss the matter of implementing the Assam Accord in a stipulated time frame.
The Assam chief minister, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma, invited the AASU leaders to discuss the long-pending issue of Assam accord implementation. Top AASU leaders, including chief adviser Dr. Samujjal Bhattacharjya, president Dipankar Nath, general secretary Shankar Jyoti Baruah, participated in the long discussion held at the government guest house in Guwahati.
In the meeting, a decision to form a special sub-committee, including 5 AASU members and three cabinet ministers of the Assam government, was taken to formulate the implementation framework within three months. In the meeting held between the government and AASU leaders after a gap of 16 years, the student body reasserted its long-pending demands of the security and safeguard of indigenous people, economic upliftment of Assamese people, a constitutional safeguard for indigenous people, protection of government and tribal people land and a permanent solution to the flood and erosion problem of the state.
The AASU leadership also asserted its original demands of sealing the Indo-Bangladesh border, detection, deletion and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi, correct updation of the NRC, etc. It should be mentioned that AASU held its last government-level discussion to implement the Assam accord in May 2005. But the then Congress government took no initiative to solve the four-decades-old issue in Assam. The Assam Accord was signed by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and AASU leadership in 1985. But apart from fulfilling minor demands, the core issue of the accord has never been implemented by the Congress government.
The BJP government led by prime minister Narendra Modi has taken a keen interest in solving the long-pending issue, including formulating an expert committee for accord implementation. The committee has already submitted its recommendations to the home ministry. AASU chief adviser Dr. Samujjal Bhattacharjya said after the meeting, "For the first time, we have been invited to discuss the Assam accord by a government. Earlier, we had to agitate to get an invitation for discussion. It is a positive sign."