Pabitra Rabha to be honoured with Pratima Baruah Pandey Memorial Award, 2020

Famous Assamese theatre and cinema artiste Pabitra Rabha to be honoured with Padmashree Pratima Baruah Pandey Memorial Award, 2020, announced AASU on Thursday.

His enormous contribution to the field of Assamese theatre and cinema is truly laudable.

The award will be bestowed upon him during a function in Guwahati on December 27.

Rabha, who hails from Palagarh village on the outskirts of Tangla town in Udalguri district rose to fame after acting in the Priyanka Chopra starrer “Mary Kom”.

The National School of Drama (NSD) alumnus also runs an all the dwarves theatre group, ‘Dapon-The Mirror’.

Rabha was last seen in Assamese movies namely “Kanchanjunga” and “Mission China”.

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M’laya Cements Ltd Offers "Job" to Bangladeshi Diplomat’s Wife, Students Body Lambast Mgt

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity (KMSS) lambasted the management of Topcem Cement for ‘offering job’ to a Bangladeshi diplomat’s wife in Guwahati.

According to reports, the management of Topcem Cement appointed Munera Azam, wife of Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner to Guwahati – Shah Mohammad Tanvir Mansur, as its senior manager (marketing & sales).

Munera Azam joined Topcem Cement’s parent company – Meghalaya Cement Limited in March Guwahati.

Meanwhile, Samujjal Bhattacharya, chief adviser of AASU said Topcem Cement’s decision to appoint Munera Azam is against the spirit of the historic Assam Accord, and will not be tolerated.

“While lakhs of youths in Assam are unemployed, appointment of a Bangladeshi diplomat’s wife in a company that runs from the state is not acceptable,” Bhattacharya said.

Similarly, KMSS leader Deben Sarma said corporate houses in Assam have failed to address the issue of spiraling unemployment in the State.

“Companies like Topcem Cement are here in Assam only to mint money and employ Bangladeshi nationals in top positions,” Sarma said.

Sarma questioned, “How couldn’t the management of Topcem Cement find any suitable candidate in Assam? Do they mean to say that Assam doesn’t have any qualified person to get the job of a senior manager?”

The KMSS leader also took a dig at Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who always promises to protect Assam’s Jati, Mati and Bheti. “He (the Chief Minister) is here only to keep the corporate houses in good humour,” Sarma said.

Kailash Lohia, chairman of Topcem Cement also remained incommunicado for the last 48 hours and even the management of Topcem Cement also did not issue any statement till Sunday evening on the controversial appointment of Munera Azam.

As reported by Nenow, from prima-facie investigations, it was found that Munera Azam has ‘no special skills’ for the position of Senior Manager Marketing & Sales.

Or, was the ‘job’ to Munera Azam some kind of a ‘thanks-giving’ for some ‘special favour’ by Bangladesh’s Assistant High Commissioner to Guwahati?

Sources said Munera Azam has a bachelor degree in Mass Communication from the University of Liberal Arts in Bangladesh, and had worked as an executive with the Standard Chartered Bank from 2012 to 2013.

She had worked as a Marketing Coordinator with Asus from September 2014 to October 2016 in Dubai.

Between 2017 and 2019, Munera Azam did her Master’s degree in International Marketing, with a scholarship of the Russian government.

And, within months of completion of the Master’s degree in International Marketing, Topcem Cement offered Munera Azam the job of Senior Manager Marketing & Sales.

AASU to Protest Against CAA on December 12

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) is set to organise a statewide protest on December 12 against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Notably, December 12 is the first anniversary of enactment of the Act.

Earlier, the Rajya Sabha on December 11, 2019 had passed the the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, triggering a massive protest in Assam and the Northeast. Earlier, on December 9, 2019, the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha’s winter session. The Bill received President’s assent on December 12.

“In the days to come, AASU and its allied 30 indigenous bodies would chalk out elaborate plans to exert pressure on the government to repeal the Act. However, on December 12 next, all the district AASU units would stage protests at public places with photographs of the martyrs of anti-CAA movement,” the AASU leaders stated.

Dr. Samujjal Bhattacharjya Stays as Chief Advisor for AASU

Guwahati: All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) Chief Advisor Dr. Samujjal Bhattacharjya will continue to remain as the chief advisor of the student’s body.

Informing about his decision at the AASU’s oath-taking programme here in Guwahati, Dr. Samujjal Bhattacharjya stated that he has cancelled his retirement plan from the union following the request of the delegates at the Duliajan conference as well as suggestions of the regional organisations and distinguished personalities and citizens of the state.

“I have expressed my consent to continue my work as the chief advisor of the AASU,” said Bhattacharjya before the media on Monday at Gauhati University.

It may be mentioned that during the 17th session of the AASU at Duliajan in Dibrugarh district from November 18 to 21, speculations were rife about Dr. Bhattacharjya’s decision to retire from the largest student organisation of the state.

Dr. Bhattacharjya also claimed that he had to change his mind about quitting the student’s body on several occasion due to the emotional outburst of the delegates from different districts at the selection meeting.

Meanwhile, Lurinjyoti Gogoi had announced his decision to leave the student body.

Dipankar Kumar Nath was given the responsibility of president again. Sankar Jyoti Baruah who hails from Duliajan was chosen for the post of general secretary.

It may further be mentioned that the 62-member-executive body for the next tenure took oath on Monday at Gauhati University.

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AASU makes Clause 6 report public, Delhi-Dispur caught on wrong foot


Guwahati: Clause 6 of the Assam Accord has been the bone of contention across the political spectrum in Assam since the day of signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985. Finally, in 2019 the Centre decided to constitute a high-level committee to look into all aspects of the clause that would submit a report on it for due implementation.

In line with the Centre's decision, a high-level committee with retired High Court Judge Biplab Kr Sarma as the Chairman was formed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after due consultation with the state government.

It is over five months now that the committee submitted the report to the Centre. Since some time, the AASU leaders who were also members of the committee have been repeatedly raising the issue of making the report public by the Centre.

With the Centre as well as the state government paying no heed to the AASU demand, on Tuesday the AASU leadership headed by its chief adviser Samujjwal Bhattacharya made the report public independently at a press meet in Guwahati.

Interestingly, senior Guwahati High court advocate Niloy Dutta who is also a member of the committee took part in the press meet through video conferencing.

As per the report, the government has been asked to accept 1951 as the cut off year in determining the definition of 'Assamese people'. All the indigenous people of Assam irrespective of caste, creed, community, language, religion, ethnicity and such other factors who were residents of Assam in 1951 should be included under the definition of 'Assamese people'. All Indian citizens who lived in Assam on that appointed date should also be considered as 'Assamese people'.

Significantly, under the Assam Accord, the 'Assamese people' should be given special constitutional safeguards under Clause 6. The report has also made a list of recommendations as constitutional safeguards for the 'Assamese people'.

Another recommendation made by the report may turn out to be a red eye-sore for the Centre and the state government. While the Centre along with the state government is doing everything possible to keep Assam out of the Inner Line Permit (ILP) ambit with a view to accommodating possibly millions of Hindu Bangladeshi immigrants within the territory of Assam, the report has strongly recommended the implementation of ILP in Assam.

For sure, it was the cardinal duty of the Centre and the Assam government to make the report public despite the fact that over five months have elapsed since the submission of the report. The general feeling that was gaining ground among the public was that the Centre might not allow the report to be available in the public domain as it was not upto its liking from the stand-point of CAA.

What has been done cannot be undone. Certainly, in the days to come, the media shall be agog with attacks and counter-attacks from rival ends. Quite possibly, a new chapter of 'no holds barred' political battle as well as legal battles may be on the cards. The Centre may not welcome legal battles as the same, more often than not, consume a lot more time for settlement. However, under the present dispensation, it is indeed difficult to make a guess. One never knows - a super fast track court may come to stay.

In any case, with the Assam Assembly election just about half-a-year away and with the Sonowal-led government having failed miserably on all fronts pertaining to 'roti, kapda aur maakan', the action by AASU may come in as a hard political blow to the ruling dispensation in Assam.

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AASU, KMSS to go political ?

Guwahati: Two frontline anti-CAA bodies, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), have reportedly drawn up plans to form political parties with eyes set on the 2021 Assam Assembly polls. Presently, political grapevines are ringing loud and clear on the issue of the formation of new regional parties in the state.

On the other hand, reports are also rife in the air that newly-elected Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Kumar Bhuyan-led Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) and some other prominent personalities of Assam are working round the clock to bring the AASU and the KMSS same platform with a view to dislodging the ruling BJP from power. A leading AASU leader has expressed the view that a genuine regional party was needed to “uphold regional issues without any compromise”.

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AASU Up In Arms Against Assam Land Ordinance

By Bijoy Sutradhar

Digboi: All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) Digboi Unit on Thursday staged a massive protest against Assam Government's decision to allow conversion of land without clearances for the setting up industries in the state.

On last Monday, the State Cabinet had approved an ordinance that allowed micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to set up industries by only submitting a self-declaration.

Also, Prabajan Virodhi Manch Convenor and Senior Advocate Upamanyu Hazarika earlier on Wednesday claimed that the proposed ordinance, by which all agricultural land in Assam is opened upto to industries without any restrictions except for a self-certification, is a death knell for not only agriculturalists but the 115 small indigenous ethnic communities in Assam.

Hazarika in a press statement stated that the proposed ordinance with barely 9 months remaining for the 2021 elections is a clear attempt by the ruling political class to gather funds from land speculators and enrich themselves.

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