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Clause 6 in Assam Accord

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Clause 6 in Assam Accord

What to study?
For Prelims: What is Clause 6 of Assam Accord?
For Mains: Concerns expressed over this clause, ways to address them.

Context: Three major communities, perceived to be migrants in Assam, have expressed concern over the recommendations of the high-powered committee on the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985. These communities are the Bengal-origin or Bengali-speaking Muslims (referred to as Miyas), the Bengali Hindus and the Gurkhas.

What are the concerns being expressed?

Implementation of this clause would lead to exclusion of these communities from the list of indigenous communities. More than 80% of these have been living in Assam for centuries.

Background:

A 13-member panel set up to study the implementation of the Assam Accord’s Clause 6, which relates to the protection of the Assamese identity, recently submitted its report.

What is Clause 6?

Clause 6 states: “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.”

However, no government has passed any legislation since 1985 to provide constitutional protection to the Assamese people as envisaged under Clause 6. 

 Assam Accord:

Signed between the Union government and leaders of the All Assam Students Union (AASU) in 1985, the Assam Accord came at the end of a six-year-long agitation demanding the expulsion of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Sources: the Hindu.