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Panel on Assam Accord to formally submit report to state government on February 25

The committee, which is headed by Justice (retired) B K Sharma, will submit the report to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in the presence of the entire state cabinet.

Published: 22nd February 2020 11:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd February 2020 11:42 PM   |  A+A-

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma (File photo| PTI)

By PTI

GUWAHATI: The High-Level Committee on Implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord will formally submit its report to the Assam government on February 25, senior state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.

The committee, which is headed by Justice (retired) B K Sharma, will submit the report to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in the presence of the entire state cabinet, Sarma told reporters here.

The High-Level Committee (HLC), he said, had clarified in a press statement issued by Justice Sharma's office on February 20 that the report has been completed and is currently with the state government's Assam Accord Implementation Department in a sealed cover.

Sarma, who is the state finance minister, said the chief minister will send the report to Union Home Minister Amit Shah who will go through it and if required, call the committee members to New Delhi for further discussions.

"Amit Shahji had earlier met the members of the committee twice and as legal and constitutional matters are involved, discussions may be needed with the members again," he said.

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord says constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.

The Accord was signed in 1985 after the state witnessed a six-year-long stir from 1979 seeking detection and deportation of illegal Bangladeshis.

Asked whether he has any information about the features of the report, Sarma, a key BJP leader, said that the report is "under sealed cover and there is no need to speculate at this stage about what is there in the report".

The office of Justice Sarma, in a release issued earlier, had said that the HLC had also intimated the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for necessary follow-up action.

The release had further said it has come to the committee's notice reports by a section of the media stating that a delegation of the HLC had gone to New Delhi recently after the completion of the report but returned to Guwahati after not getting any response from the Centre.

"The above information is absolutely incorrect and not based on facts as after completion of the report all its copies are in the custody of the Assam Accord Implementation Committee in a sealed cover," Sharma had said.

The release had clarified that no team member, including the HLC chairman, had visited New Delhi after February 10 for the purpose of apprising or handing over the report to the ministry of home affairs, the release added.

The Union Home Ministry had in January 2019 announced the formation of the high-level committee headed by retired union secretary M P Bezbaruah, but six of its nine members refused to be part of it.

Following this, the panel was reconstituted with 14 members and Sharma as its chairman.

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