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Assam CM constitutes 8 sub-groups to tackle minority problems; population control in focus

GUWAHATI: Assam’s chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has okayed the setting up of 8 sub-groups to address the concerns of the minority Muslim community with an emphasis on “managing population explosion” which he has time and again highlighted as one of the major issues plaguing the state.

“One subgroup will work on health, one subgroup will work on education, one subgroup will work on population stabilization, one subgroup will work on cultural identity, one subgroup will work on financial inclusion, one subgroup will work on women empowerment, one subgroup will work on the skill development. So the entire range of issues will be discussed in the sub grounds and after 3 months we will be here again to prepare a road map for the next 5 years,” Biswa Sarma told media persons here.

After 3 months, Sarma said, another meeting will be held to prepare a roadmap for the next 5 years.

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today chaired a meeting featuring 150 prominent persons from the indigenous Muslims of Assam where various issues pertaining to the community were discussed.

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This was the first time that any Assam CM has called representatives from religious minorities to discuss their issues.

“The meeting has emphasized that the uniqueness of indigenous Assamese Muslims should be protected and it should be preserved,” Sarma told media persons after the meeting.

However, he added, “in the broader landscape, it has been agreed that the population explosion in some part of Assam has posed a real threat for the development of Assam more particularly in the economic sense.”

Sarma said that “if at all Assam has to become” one of the top 5 states, the state must control its population explosion.

The chief minister also stated that the state’s leaders will also sit down for a meeting with intellectuals from the Bengali-speaking Muslim community of the state.

“It is because both these groups will have distinct culture and identity,” Sarma said, adding that a series of meetings will be held in the next 2-3 months.

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