NRC will weed out illegal migrants: Assam Finance Minister

Guwahati: The National Register of Citizens (NRC) will weed out a number of illegal migrants from Assam, said Himanta Biswa Sarma, state’s Finance Minister, on Monday.

Terming illegal migrants as ‘Jinnah,’ Sarma said a high-level committee has been set up by the Union Cabinet to implement the Clause VI of the 1985 Assam Accord. “NRC will weed out a lot of ‘Jinnah’ living in the state,” Sarma said here while talking to media persons.

The Clause 6 of the Assam Accord states that “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.”

Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for their spontaneous efforts in addressing the problem of illegal migrants, Sarma said: “The history of the country has never seen the formation of a committee which provides a constitutional safeguard to the indigenous people of Assam.”

Sarma accused the Congress of derailing the Central government’s efforts to save Assam from the philosophy of Jinnah. “The Central government has given the liberty to the people of Assam to define their own destiny.

Therefore, the Centre has put Assamese people on the committee,” he said.

Members of the high level committee set up for the implementation of Clause VI of the Assam Accord include retired IAS officer Subhash Das, former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha Dr Nagen Saikia, former Editor Dhiren Bezbaruah, Assam Attorney General Ramesh Borpatragohain, educationalist Dr Mukuna Rajbangshi, former president of Assam Sahitya Sabha Rongbong Terang, Joint Secretary of Ministry of Home Affairs, and a representative of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU). The committee is headed by retired IAS officer MP Bezbarauah.

Sarma, who is considered as the BJP’s main strategist for Northeast states, also urged the AASU, which has been demanding to detect and deport illegal Hindu Bangladeshis from Assam for long, to come forward and speak for the interest of the greater Assamese community.

Assam’s Finance Minister Sarma also spoke about Prime Minister Modi’s promise of granting scheduled tribe status to six communities of Assam. “The Centre is studying the situation and will soon come out with a positive decision within 7 to 10 days.”