Hindu Bengalis
Leaders of All Assam Bengali Hindu Association addressing media persons at Silchar on Monday. Image credit - Northeast Now

The All Assam Bengali Hindu Association (AABHA) has demanded inclusion of a member from the Hindu Bengalis in the implementation committee of Clause 6 of Assam Accord.

The implementation committee of Clause 6 of Assam Accord is headed by Justice (retired) B. K. Sarma.

The AABHA also raised some issues related to an advertisement floated by the implementation committee of Clause 6 of Assam Accord during a press conference on Monday.

Addressing media persons at Silchar on Monday, AABHA president Basudev Acharjee said, “We have observed an advertisement being circulated in various newspapers in the last two days.”

“The advertisement has been issued by Justice (retired) B. K. Sarma, chairman of the committee on Clause 6 of Assam Accord implementation seeking suggestions before September 20 from individuals and organizations,” he said.

Stating that they have no objections to the advertisement, Acharjee said, “The reference of the word ‘indigenous’ used in many places of the text like ‘indigenous Assamese’, ‘indigenous tribals’ and other indigenous people of Assam is quite ‘misleading’.”

Also read: Centre faces flak over absence of women representation in clause 6 panel

Acharjee further said, “For us, whosoever has been living in Assam for ages is an integral part of Assam.”

“Use of the word ‘indigenous’ in this advertisement is a conspiracy and a clear indication to keep people, who do not speak Assamese as their language, out of the implementation committee’s domain,” he said.

Acharjee asked the implementation committee of Clause 6 of Assam Accord to describe what the word ‘indigenous’ means.

Talking to Northeast Now, Acharjee said, “One-fourth of Assam’s population is Hindu Bengalis. But not a single member in the implementation committee is from the Hindu Bengalis.”

“In the committee, one students’ body has four-five members and the other bodies are not included,” he said.

“What happened during the signing of the Assam Accord has been repeated once again,” said Acharjee.

He informed that they have sent a letter to the Prime Minister as well as the Union Home Minister putting forth all their grievances.

Earlier, the Centre drew flak for non-representation of tribal communities and women in the panel.

However, later, the Centre included Prof. Mrinal Miri, who is a former Rajya Sabha member, in the panel as a representative of the tribal communities.

In the similar tone, AABHA general secretary Santanu Sutradhar told Northeast Now, “We are not pointing fingers for formation of the implementation committee. But our concern is non-inclusion of a single Bengali Hindu in it.”

“Pressure politics has definitely worked in the making of the committee,” asserted Sutradhar.

Sutradhar added, “We as Bengali Hindus have every reason to be anxious about the turn of events with the implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord just like the NRC.”

“We have already emailed to the PM and the Union Home Minister expressing our concern and now want our Silchar MP Dr Rajdeep Roy to raise this issue in the Parliament,” he further said.

“Not only that we also demand to incorporate one Hindu Bengali as a member of the implementation committee of Clause 6 of Assam Accord,” said Sutradhar.

“We strongly believe in pratibad (protest), pratirodh (resistance) and finally, pratishodh (revenge),” asserted Sutradhar.

Aniruddha Laskar

Aniruddha Laskar is the Chief of Bureau, South Assam &and Mizoram. He can be reached at - anilaskar@gmail.com

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