Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal
Amid ongoing protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that his government "is safeguarding jati, mati, bheti" (community, land, home) of the indigenous people of the state.
Since assuming office, the BJP government has been working to safeguard the rights and privileges of the people of Assam, he asserted at a meeting of workers of Cinnamara tea estate.
Earlier, black flags were shown at the chief minister, officials said, adding that two youths were picked up in this connection.
There have been protests across Assam and other parts of the country against the CAA. Those opposing the new citizenship law have claimed that it would alter the demography of Assam and threaten the existence of Assamese people.
"Amar Asom (our state), Amar Mati (our land), Amar Adhikar (our right) are the guiding principles of the state government and it is safeguarding jati, mati, bheti of the indigenous people," the chief minister said.
He laid the foundation of a primary health centre in the tea estate in Jorhat district.
He also said his government has adopted a land policy, especially aimed at protecting land rights of the indigenous people of the state.
He said his government is carrying out survey of ceiling surplus land of tea garden areas just to ascertain the quantum of land to be given to the people belonging to tea tribe community, and rejected claims that it would lead to selling of land to outsiders.
He maintained that land which originally belongs to the tea tribe community will remain with them.
Sonowal said that in the coming days, 15 public health centres would be set up in 15 tea gardens belonging to the state-run Assam Tea Corporation.
He also announced that from January 1, 2020, his government would hike wage of tea garden workers under ATC from the existing Rs 138 to Rs 167 per day.
Earlier, during Union minister Rameswar Teli's address at the meeting, two youths rose from their seats and shouted 'Joi Aai Axom' and raised black flags before they were whisked away by the police. They were later released.