By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Sept 5: The Assam Public Works (APW) is not too convinced that the State Government would take up the process to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on a mission mode, as had been stated by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi during a press conference on Tuesday.
“Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has been claiming that his government is committed to updating the NRC. The government has claimed that it has sent a report in this regard to the Centre and is awaiting for the Centre’s green signal to go ahead up the NRC update process. However, we are not too convinced because till August 28, 2012, the State Government had not sent an report to the Centre,” said APW general secretary Bitu Talukdar while addressing a press conference in Guwahati on Wednesday.
He further said that APW chairman Aabhijeet Sharma had filed an RTI application (dated 6.8.2012) and in response to that application, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs stated that the Assam Government had constituted a cabinet sub-committee to look into the NRC update issue. The cabinet sub-committee submitted its report on 23.3.2012 to the State Government but the government had not sent its final recommendation to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Aabhijeet Sharma, who was also present at the press conference, said, “During the tripartite talks between the Centre, State Government and the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in 2005, it was decided that the process of updating the NRC would be completed by 2007. This did not happen. The government’s recent announcement about the NRC update process does not sound convincing. Whenever the people of Assam come out on the streets against illegal influx, the government pacifies them by announcing about the NRC update process. This time too it appears that the government is resorting to its old trick.”
He further said, “If the government actually goes ahead with the NRC update process, some organization or the other will oppose the move. Hence it is necessary that when the process starts, either the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA), the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) or the National Security Act should be enforced in the State. Also, we fear that the Citizenship Act, 1955 might act as a hurdle in NRC update process. Hence, the government must clarify whether the Act will hinder the NRC process or not.”