Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh while taking part in the discussion assured the AASU representatives that the spirit of Assam Accord would not be allowed to get diluted at any cost. The Union Minister, who has been closely monitoring the implementation of the Accord, stated that the Government of India and the Government of Assam are committed to a flawless NRC updation exercise in Assam and to provide Constitutional and economic safeguards to the indigenous people. He also stated that AASU representatives can contact him any time to discuss issues pertaining to the Assam Accord.
After a gap of almost 12 years, the tripartite talks between the All Assam Students’ Union, Government of India and Government of Assam at the Home Ministerial level was held at North Block here today in the presence of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and representatives of All Assam Students’ Union.
Singh further informed that a committee with representatives from Government of India, Government of Assam and AASU will be formed to ensure time bound implementation of all clauses of the Accord. “All issues raised by AASU will be discussed in detail and implemented in a time bound manner. We are also mulling the option for second line of defense along the border for strengthening border security and checking infiltration. Besides, erection of fencing along Indo-Bangla border has already begun”, Singh said.
The Union Home Minister also stated that construction work of Bogibeel Bridge would be completed within December, 2017.
Terming the talks as meaningful, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “We have started a meaningful and good beginning to the implementation of Assam Accord. Today’s talks have ended on a positive note, as we have discussed in detail clause-wise time bound implementation of the Accord for providing constitutional and economic safeguards to the people of Assam”.
The Chief Minister further informed that in the coming days political and official level engagements will continue for implementation of all clauses of the Accord within a stipulated time frame.
AASU Adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya, while terming the outcome as positive, thanked Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for their initiatives to hold the talks after a long hiatus. Bhattacharyya said that all 60 proposals placed by AASU for clause-wise implementation of the Accord were discussed threadbare in the talks.
The AASU Adviser also said that they have raised the issue of raising of a Special Task Force at district and state levels for detection of illegal immigrants. A bilateral agreement between Governments of India and Bangladesh for deportation of the illegal immigrants was also suggested by AASU in the discussions, Bhattacharyya said. He also disclosed that the next tripartite talks would be held after two months to speed up the momentum of the whole process.
The tripartite talks which lasted for nearly 45 minutes discussed threadbare clause-wise time bound implementation of Assam Accord particularly Clauses 6 and 7 pertaining to Constitutional safeguards to indigenous people and economic safeguards. It also discussed the process of NRC updation exercise to weed out the names of illegal immigrants, complete sealing of the porous border on a war footing including riverine areas to prevent influx of illegal immigrants once and for all..
Revival of Ashok Paper Mill, tackling the recurrent flood and erosion problem, protection of the riverine island Majuli from the fury of the Brahmaputra, revamping the Brahmaputra Board, setting up of new institutions were some of the other issues that came up during the discussions.
While Union Home Secretary Rajeev Meharshi and Joint Secretary (North East), MHA Satyendra Garg represented the Government of India, the Government of Assam by State Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Media Adviser to Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami, Legal Adviser to Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali, Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia, Principal Secretary, Home Hemanta Narzary, Commissioner and Secretary, Home LS Changsan and Resident Commissioner Rwitticka Kalita. The AASU was represented by Adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya, President Dipanka Nath, General Secretary Lorinjyoti Gogoi and educationist Basanta Deka.