Opposition protests in Assam assembly; governor stops speech

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Guwahati, January 13: The opposition Congress and AIUDF on Monday shouted slogans against the BJP-led government in Assam in the state Assembly during the address of Governor Jagdish Mukhi forcing him to end his speech abruptly.
As soon as the governor began his address at the one- day special session, opposition members stood up and protested against the new citizenship law and deaths of five persons in police firing during anti-CAA protests in the state last month.
Carrying posters and placards, MLAs of the Congress and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) trooped to the well of the House and started shouting slogans.
The governor’s voice could not be heard in the din and he ended his address within minutes. Speaker Hiten Goswami announced Mukhi’s speech to be taken as read.
In his speech made available to the media, the governor said his government has given top priority to safeguard the rights of the indigenous people and preserve their identity and heritage.
“In order to safeguard the rights of the indigenous people over land, my government has adopted a new Land Policy and also brought a law to protect the rights of the indigenous people of the state over land,” the governor said.
The Assam Land and Revenue Regulation, 1886 has been amended to facilitate removal of encroachment from all religious institutions like Sattras (15th century monasteries set up by Vaishnavite polymath of Assam Srimanta Sankar Deb), he added.
Mukhi also said the Centre has also set up a high- level committee to suggest measures for the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and the panel is expected to submit its report shortly.
The clause provides constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguard to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
The Assam government has also taken up an ambitious programme, “Bhasa Gaurav Achoni”, to preserve and promote Assamese and other indigenous languages, Mukhi said.
He said the government will also bring a legislation to make it mandatory to teach the Assamese language as a compulsory subject in English medium and other schools soon.
The governor also said the government has taken a number of steps to fulfil aspirations of various ethnic communities of the state.
Mukhi said the government has been able to script a new development narrative for the state which has witnessed tremendous push in the infrastructure sector – roads, bridges, schools, colleges, medical colleges, housing, etc.
The government has also implemented welfare programmes such as old-age pension, disability pension, widow pension, housing for poor, cooking gas connections, electricity connections and food security. (PTI)