MHA committe on Assam to meet Shah on Sunday

PTI file photo

A high-level committee, set up by the Home Ministry to suggest ways for providing constitutional safeguards to the indigenous people of Assam, will meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday.

Sources said a four-member delegation of the committee, headed by Justice (Retd) Biplab Kumar Sharma, will meet the home minister and is expected to brief him about the progress of its work.

The meeting will take place three days after Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal met the home minister and discussed with him various aspects of the Assam Accord's Clause 6, under which the central government had promised to provide constitutional safeguards to the indigenous people.

The committee is said to have completed its deliberations and discussions with various stakeholders in Assam and is expected to submit its report soon, may be within a month, the sources said.

The committee with more than a dozen members was set up as per Clause 6 of the 1985 Assam Accord.

According to its terms and conditions, "The committee will assess the appropriate level of reservation of seats in Assam Legislative Assembly and local bodies for the Assamese people".

"The committee will recommend the appropriate level of reservations in employment under the government of Assam for the Assamese people," according to a home ministry notification.

The meeting will be held amidst widespread protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Assam. It bears significance as there's been a growing feeling among the indigenous people of Assam that the newly enacted legislation will hurt their interests — both politically, culturally as well as socially.

The Assam Accord provides for detection and deportation of all illegal immigrants, who have entered the country after 1971 and living in the state, irrespective of their religion.

According to CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

The protesters in Assam said that the CAA violates the provisions of the Assam Accord.

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