Silchar, Aug 9: Along with social, political, student and youth bodies, consumers’ forum ‘Grahak Suraksha Samiti’ (GSS), Cachar district unit, has in a different way raised legal implication of categorization in NRC, currently in fil process. It has been stated by Prateek Hajela, state coorditor, NRC Assam, that the religious and linguistic minorities of Assam cannot be treated as ‘Origil Inhabitants’ (OI) on the ground that they might be from Bangladesh. Biploab Kumar Goswami, general secretary of GSS, wants to know on which basis of law or act, a section of the inhabitants of Assam are to be categorized as ‘Non Origil Inhabitants’ (NOI).
Hajela justifies such listing on the basis of the NRC Act of 2003 and its modified Act of 2009. But, as Goswami argues, the Act in question has not defined who are to be treated as ‘OI’. He cautions such attempts to categorize citizens will only lead to mental divide and create a deep schism among the communities, quite detrimental to the social and political solidarity of the state. In fact, it was during the Congress regime of Tarun Gogoi that a directive came from the Additiol Registrar General of India dated July 2, 2015 to Dispur. It is on the basis of this directive that has definitely prompted Prateek Hajela to indulge in such discrimitory exercise which Goswami describes as quite ‘unfortute’.
The general secretary of the consumers’ body clarifies that the section 3 (3) of clause 4 (a) of the modified Act of NRC and issue of tiol Identity Cards, 2009 has clearly stated that the mes of origil inhabitants of Assam and their family members as well as those citizens of India will find place as citizens in the consolidated list if the authorities concerned are fully satisfied about their citizenship. This Act does not bear any definite definition of origil inhabitants. He suspects there might be strong political back up to make a divisive approach in the filization of NRC.
Biplob Kumar Goswami apprehends the Bengalis, both Hindus and Muslims, might face great injustice and harassment. His advice at this critical juncture is to raise voice of protest in unison not only at the state but also at the tiol level. And the appropriate body to articulate the collective voice is the century old organization ‘All India Banga Sahitya Sammelan’ which should be approached. He reminds that this literary body formed by the great poet and writer Rabindra th Tagore has all India presence with 150 branches spread across the states. It is only through this Banga Sahitya Sammelan that mass opinion can be built up to offset the undesirable categorization in NRC, Goswami thinks.