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AASU flays Barman, Prafulla Mahanta
By A City Reporter
 GUWAHATI, March 31 — The All Assam Students’ Union today went hammer and tongs at Minister in charge of Assam Accord Implementation Dr Bhumidhar Barman and AGP (P) leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta over their remarks on the ‘definition of Assamese people’ made in the State Assembly yesterday. AASU advisor Sammujjal Kr Bhattacharjee said that both the statements made on the floor of the House are not the complete truth and the persons concerned must check out the official records before making such misleading pronouncements.

Addressing mediapersons today, Bhattacharjee said that Delhi and Dispur do not want to implement the Assam Accord and thus they bring forward the issue of ‘definition of Assamese’ just to start a debate and put the greater issue on the backburner.

Lambasting former Chief Minister, Prafulla Mahanata, he said, “Mahanta’s statement that the AGP government submitted the proposal on the definition of Assamese people is not correct. The truth is that his proposal was rejected at the meeting of the tripartite talk sub-committee. The then Chief Minister should have cross checked his official documents to know the fact before making such remarks.”

After going through the views of some historians and anthropologists, the AASU gave a definition of the Assamese people based on the National Register of Citizens which was prepared on the basis of 1951 census report. “Our definition of Assamese people includes the decendents of all who were registered in the NRC irrespective of the language they speak and people from any caste, community, tribe or religion. This definition is of course only for the seat reservation in local bodies, Assembly and Parliament as per the Sixth Clause of the Accord,” he added.

“Mahanta must also remember that it was Assam government who backed out when the negotiation process for the quantum of reservation of seats was in the offing and the Centre was agreeable to give reservation,” Bhattacharjee said adding that constitutional “safeguard mentioned in Clause Six is our right and we will definitely get it.”

The Assam Accord also mentions some other issues that do not require the definition of Assamese like J&K; status, right on land, upper house in the State Legislative Assembly, protection of historical monuments etc., which have been neglected by the governments, he alleged.

Meanwhile, the AASU has sent a delegation to the border areas of Dhubri and Karimganj to see whether the borders have been sealed as per the commitment of the Union Government.