25, Feb 2020 | CJP Team
There appears to be no respite for people of Assam. Some are likely to suffer even though their names have been included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published in August last year.
Now, in a letter addressed to all Deputy Commissioners and District Registrars of Citizens Registration (DRCR) of all districts, Hitesh Dev Sarma, State Coordinator of NRC has demanded details of ‘ineligible’ people who have been included in the list.
Now that the final NRC has been published, and 19,06,657 people have been excluded from the final list, CJP’s campaign has become even more focused. Our objective now, is to help these excluded people defend their citizenship before Foreigners’ Tribunals. For this we have already started conducting a series of workshops to train paralegals to assist people at FTs. We will also be publishing a multi-media training manual containing simplified aspects of legal procedure, evidentiary rules, and judicial precedents that will ensure the appeals filed against the NRC exclusions in the FTs are comprehensive and sound, both in fact and in law. This will assist our paralegals, lawyers and the wider community in Assam to negotiate this tortuous process. For this we need your continued support. Please donate now to help us help Assam.
In his letter Sarma says, “… few names of ineligible persons are found present in the final NRC particularly people who are DV, DF, PFT, DVD, DFD, PFTD etc.” Sarma is referring to the inclusion of doubtful voters, declared foreigners and people against whom cases are pending in foreigners’ tribunals, as well as their dependents, siblings and family members. He goes on to ask for their details.
Sarma’s letter may be read here:
Meanwhile, Assam Public Works, the NGO that is at the center of the NRC case in the Supreme Court has demanded a complete re-verification of the list making the same allegations as the NRC state coordinator.
It may be recalled that after the final NRC was published, the Assam state government as well as several local organizations such as All Assam Students Union (AASU), we upset with the outcome, with both alleging that ‘foreigners’ had been mistakenly included in the final list. The slight difference between the two accusers is that while AASU and other allegedly ethno-linguistic chauvinist organisations are driven by fears of demographic upheaval caused due to an alleged influx of people of a different ethnicity, the BJP led state government has concerns driven by a deeply communal agenda.
This has led to a lot of drama, including levelling of a series of allegations of fraud, misappropriation of funds and data manipulation against the former NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela who had to be shunted out of the state due to security concerns.
(Feature Image – The Hindu)