Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had a detailed discussion with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on a gamut of security and other important issues concerning the State and its people at the latter’s official residence on Sunday.
In course of the almost two hours of discussions, Chief Minister Sonowal apprised the Union Home Minister Singh about the critical issues of the State including expeditious updation of NRC, implementation of Assam Accord, sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border, illegal immigrants, granting of Scheduled Tribe status to six ethnic communities, Bodoland issues, police modernization and deployment of additional forces in the State.
The Chief Minister requested the Union Home Minister to hold tripartite talks at the political level with various organizations on their demands. These would include the leaders of the six ethnic communities demanding ST status viz., Koch Rajbongshi, Tai Ahom, Moran, Mottock, Chutiya and Adivasi-Tea garden communities; the ABSU, PJACBM, NDFB(P), NDFB (RD) regarding Bodoland issues; ANCC regarding issues of Adivasis in Assam; AKRSU (H) and AKRSU (P) regarding Koch Rajbhongshi issues and with AASU regarding Assam Accord implementation. The Union Home Minister agreed to hold talks early and said that the dates for the meetings would be communicated soon.
The Chief Minister apprised the Union Minister about concerns regarding the NRC updation exercise, relating to modalities, timeframe and fund flow. The RGI, MHA, agreed to complete the process in a time-bound manner subject to directions of the Supreme Court. The Chief Minister assured of the full commitment of the State Government to support the RGI in the NRC updation process. The RGI was requested to seek legal opinion on admissibility of the documents prescribed for NRC updation in the light of Gauhati High Court judgment pertaining to one of the documents i.e., GP Secretary certificate.
With regard to implementation of the Assam Accord, the Chief Minister urged the Union Home Minister to give appropriate instructions to complete the Indo-Bangladesh border fencing, including the riverine areas and also install a new fencing with modern design. He also requested that fencing in the neighbouring States be also completed. The Union Home Minister agreed to re-examine the entire matter of IBB fencing in a time-bound manner.
The matter of Foreigners’ Tribunals and Detention Centres for persons detected as foreigners was also discussed. It was agreed to give extension for functioning of the 100 foreigners’ tribunals with proper infrastructure and amenities. It was also agreed to consider establishing separate Detention Centres to house the detenues declared by foreigners’ tribunals as foreigners, pending their deportation.
Implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord was discussed pertaining to constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to the people of Assam. In this regard, the Chief Minister suggested to set up a committee comprising eminent experts from legal, constitutional, sociological, historical and cultural backgrounds to give recommendations on how to effectively implement Clause 6 for constitutional safeguards of indigenous people of Assam.
Others issues that were discussed included additional deployment of CAPF in the State in view of the law and order situation, raising of new India Reserve Battalion (IRBn), enhanced allocation in modernization of police force, revision of SRE scheme guidelines pertaining to CI Ops logistic support, Homeguards and VDP payment norms, training and camp maintenance charges of SoO cadres, designated camps and appointment of a new interlocutor for peace talks with ULFA (PT), NDFB (P) and NDFB (RD). The Union Home Minister assured to look into all the above matters and added that already process has been initiated for approval of five new IRBn for Assam.
The Chief Minister drew the attention of the Union Home Minister to the statement of T. Muivah regarding Nagalim issue. It was informed by the Ministry of Home Affairs that a detailed clarification has been issued in this regard.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Chief Secretary, Additional Chief Secretary, Home and Political, DGP and other senior officials. From the Government of India, Home Secretary, RGI and other senior officials were present in the meeting.