GUWAHATI: The Assam government has decided to create a department to preserve indigenous faith and culture.
“The tribals have their own language, culture, and religious beliefs. Since they are not affluent and there was a lack of institutional support to them, we have decided to preserve their culture and faith,” Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told journalists on Saturday announcing the state cabinet’s decision on the creation of the Department of Indigenous Faith and Culture.
He said the Cabinet had requested Finance Minister Ajanta Neog to allocate a substantial budget to the department.
Sarma said the state government would bring a law to check any kind of exploitation of women and girls.
“Love jihad does not mean a Muslim deceiving a Hindu. A Hindu should not also deceive a Hindu. If a Hindu youth deceives a Hindu woman, it is also jihad although I don’t believe in any such word,” he said.
“The law we are bringing will apply to all communities. No woman and girl, irrespective of her faith, should be exploited,” the CM said.
He also said that the gatherings at illegal liquor joints were contributing to the surge in Covid cases. He said this was the observation of his ministers tasked to monitor the situation in certain districts.
“Many of our ministers said the Covid cases are rising due to evening gatherings at illegal liquor joints. Wherever cases are rising, there is a link with the illegal liquor joints. It is a serious matter,” Sarma said.
He said the government had instructed the district authorities to dismantle the liquor joints.
The CM also spoke about the ongoing tension along Assam-Nagaland and Assam-Mizoram interstate borders.
“The Assam Police personnel have been deployed to protect our constitutional boundary. Assam is the gateway to Northeast and we are always open to mutual discussions and resolution of our disputes,” he said.
Speaking against the encroachment of land, he said if there was any dispute, the state government would sit across the table and resolve it.