Signing of the Assam Accord. (File image)

The first meeting of the High-Level Committee on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord was held in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Chaired by Justice (retd) Biplab Kumar Sarma, the meeting was also attended by minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy among others.

“It was a preliminary meeting. We have set up the terms of reference and the foundation has been laid down,” said Samujjal Bhattacharya, chief advisor of the All Assam Students Union (AASU).

“We have told that the entire process will continue without disturbing and violating clauses of the Assam Accord,” added the AASU advisor.

“We have initiated constitutional safeguard of the indigenous people of the state,” Bhattacharya added.

He also said that the recommendations of the GK Pillai committee and the recommendations by former assembly speaker Pranab Gogoi should be taken into consideration.

“The present committee will start the process keeping in mind the GK Pillai committee report and the report presented by the former speaker in the Assam Assembly,” added the AASU chief advisor.

Bhattacharya has said that the student body has reiterated that there should be reservation of seats for the indigenous people in Assembly, local bodies and Parliament.

“We have also reiterated that there should be reservation for the indigenous people in government jobs and land right,” said the AASU chief advisor

Wednesday’s meeting also emphasized on the inclusion of a tribal representative in the high-level committee.

“It was a welcome meeting. All the members were present,” said Satyendra Garg, joint secretary (NE) in the home ministry.

He said that the committee has got a mandate and “we will submit the report by January 2020 to the government.”

This committee was announced on July 15 and it comprises 13 members.

It was reconstituted after the first committee was dissolved, which was headed by retired union secretary MP Bezbaruah.

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