Citizens for Justice and Peace

CJP Impact: Our appeals help ensure hearings and due process in Assam Notices about plight of those ‘excluded’ from NRC corrections process get mass response

19, Jun 2019 | CJP Team

CJP’s team of volunteers working tirelessly on the ground in Assam have achieved have achieved a huge success this fortnight. Our Assam team was compelled to widely circulate notices in Assamese and Bengali to ensure those being excluded from due process and hearings at the NRC centres, actually got justice.

Large number of hapless persons were disallowed from a fair hearing during the on-going, ‘corrections’ process leading to the CJP team issuing multiple announcements and appeals in Assamese and Bengali. CJP’s team found that are a large number of legitimate claimants were not being granted hearing dates despite their having approached the Nagrik Seva Kendras (NSKs) of the NRC since February-March 2019.

Over four million people have been left out of the NRC draft, most of them from socio-economically backward communities. Now CJP, drawing from its previous experience in providing legal aid in Gujarat, will step in with a  multi-faceted team of lawyers and volunteers to ensure that these people receive a fair chance while filing claims across 18 of the worst affected districts. Your contribution can help cover the costs of a legal team, travel, documentation and technological expenses. Please donate generously here.

On June 15, 2019 once CJP’s appeals were widely circulated, the NRC authority too, was then compelled to schedule hearing dates of those ‘excluded’ and (earlier) not called in to be heard.

CJP’s Assam team found, through their vast network of community volunteers, that hundreds of people were complaining that despite their submission of claim applications to the NRC when they found their names had been left out of the July 31, 2018 draft list, they were just not getting their hearing notices during the claims and corrections process. This too, when the deadline was nearing an end (June 30, 2019).

Besides many others –who had been left out of the NRC process because they has been wrongly and summarily dubbed either Doubtful Voter (DV) or Declared Foreigner (DF) were also not given complete responses by the NRC during the claims and corrections process. They were simply told there were no guidelines to deal with such cases. This lack of adequate and wholesome responses from the NSKs especially when deadlines were approaching was causing much distress and panic. The NRC was not found to be dealing with the crisis seriously at all.

It was at this juncture that the Assam chapter of CJP published these appeals and widely circulated them through social media, so that most if not all persons facing discrimination due to either of these two problems can be dealt with proper way. The Assam chapter of CJP prepared and circulated two kinds of applications in Assamese, to enable every person who is deprived of proper notices to use these to apply to the NSK level NRC officials for a fixation of their hearing dates and thereafter, for such kinds of hearings can be duly completed.

Though, the formats of such applications were published first in Assamese, they were also translated into Bangla by the CJP Community Volunteer Tania Manush and Shahidul Salvador Haque. These proformas were downloaded from social media in their hundreds by people and were then submitted to NRC hearing centres promptly.

Here are both the formats of applications (made to the NRC) which was circulated by CJP in Assamese and Bengali

They may be read here


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