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GUWAHATI | August 16, 2019:
Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday had announced that in order to protect the genuine citizens of the state whose name are included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the state government is willing provide land to more than one lakh landless families.
Sonowal, while addressing the 73rd Independence Day event at Khanapara Veterinary college playground, said that the state government is going to secure the constitutional safeguard soon for the people of Assam as formation of a high-level committee on implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord is a historic step taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He pointed out that steps are being taken by the Central government to grant Schedule Tribe status to six communities including Tai Ahom, Moran, Matak, Sutia, Koch Rajbongshi and Tea Tribes.
He said that they are going to do so without infringing the existing rights of other indigenous communities of Assam.
Asserting that they had petitioned before the Supreme Court for re-verification of the NRC in order to ensure error-free documentation, the chief minister also said that more than 55000 Assam government employees are engaged in updating the NRC under the active supervision of the Supreme Court. He, however, said that once NRC is published, Assam would be free from infiltrators.
Stating that without land rights no community can protect their identity; Sonowal said that in order to provide land to more than one lakh landless families, they have given land pattas to indigenous landless families and small tea growers,
Referring that his government has also carried out eviction drive-in Kaziranga national park and other reserve forest areas making them free from encroachment, the chief minister said, "We are progressing towards a new land policy that will protect the rights of indigenous people of Assam."
He also said that his government has also brought legislation to protect cultural heritage sites of the state. " Satras, Namghar and various temples are our heritage sites which were threatened by encroachment," he said.
CM Sonowal thanked the Central leadership for bestowing Bharat Ratna to Late Bhupen Hazarika. The programme also witnessed a graceful march past followed by a colorful cultural programme in state.