GUWAHATI: Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has demanded that the long-pending claims and objections of the NRC should be settled via Foreigners Tribunals (FTs), as per rules.
Saikia further demanded that since only the names of genuine citizens of the pre-1971 period would be left after a fair claims and objections process, the Government should issue National Identity Cards to these citizens in accordance with provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
NRC Issues Settlement
He mentioned that any foreigner can apply for Indian citizenship under Sections 5 & 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and, consequently, there is no need to invoke the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). However, he said, just before the recent Assembly elections the Government of Assam cited a letter from the Central Government and instructed Deputy Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, Foreigners Registration Officers etc. vide a memo dated March 19, 2021, to disseminate information regarding grant of citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who hold Long Term Visas (LTVs).
The leader said that since CAA was introduced for migrants from these three specific countries, there is reason to suspect that the latest instruction issued by the Government of Assam was nothing but a ploy to implement the Act in Assam in a roundabout way.
He averred that the result of the recent Assembly elections could not be interpreted as an endorsement of CAA by the people of Assam because the BJP secured only 33.21% of the votes and the majority of voters spurned the BJP and CAA.