Assam chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal hailed the decisions taken by the Union cabinet on Wednesday as historic and said that the same would safeguard and protect the interests and identity of the indigenous people.
Sonowal in a statement said, “This is a New Year’s gift to the people of Assam from the central government. The decisions taken by the union cabinet would go a long way in securing the future of all indigenous communities in Assam.”
The chief minister said that the union cabinet decision had secured the interests of indigenous people by resolving the matter which remained undecided for 35 years due to lack of political will.
“The decision taken by the union cabinet to set up a high level committee to implement Clause 6 of Assam Accord would pave way for reserving seats for indigenous people in Assam Legislative Assembly, local bodies and Assam Government jobs,” he said.
Moreover, empowering the state government to implement local land policies and land laws, conduct research in customs and rituals, traditions, cultures and languages of the indigenous communities would safeguard the rights of local people over the land and resources of the state.
“Along with Assamese, decisions taken to preserve languages, cultures and traditional heritage of other local communities would go a long way to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit,” Sonowal said.
He said the decision taken the union cabinet for more effective implementation of the Bodo Accord signed in 2003 would positively impact the socio-economic development of BTAD and protection of language and culture of Bodos.
Sonowal stated that decisions such as opening of a superfast train service named “Aronai Express”, setting up of Bodo Museum-cum-language and cultural study centre, modernisation of existing All India Radio station and Doordarshan Kendra at Kokrajhar would expedite development measures of BTAD areas of the state.
Meanwhile, voices of dissent were raised by several organisations in the state for the failure of the Union Cabinet to take a decision of the issue of Scheduled Tribe status to six indigenous communities in Assam.