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NRC update in Assam a mystery: Sangram Committee

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  1 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Special Correspondent

SILCHAR, March 31: garikatwa Suraksha Sangram Committee (NSSC), Barak Valley based NGO, has described the preparation of NRC selectively for Assam as a mystery. NRC is no doubt an important document which is reframed and renewed at periodic intervals throughout the whole country simultaneously. But, it is surprising that for the state of Assam, NRC is to be updated within the stipulated time of January 2016.

Sangram Committee has raised the relevant question what emergency actually prompted the Government to select Assam as the only state for the process. Citizenship is determined and governed by some constitutiolly approved codes which are uniform throughout the country. Astoundingly, in Assam some extra and special codes have been imposed by Government notification to establish citizenship. It is not only undemocratic but also discrimiting attitude and injustice towards the people of Assam.

Sangram Committee says there is hardly any state in India which is free from immigrants. Assam is not an exception. A large number of people being victims of social disturbance and perpetrations shifted to this side of the border from the then West Pakistan, East Pakistan, present Bangladesh. They took refuge in different parts of the country. These refugees were assured citizenship of the country by Nehru – Liakut Pact as well as Indira – Mujib Pact. Assam Accord also made provision to grant Indian citizenship to those who have migrated to Assam from Bangladesh before March 24, 1971.

But, NSSC regrets that after so many intertiol pacts and tiol commitments, the refugees in Assam are being unnecessarily harassed in the process of enlisting them in the proposed NRC. This is no doubt a defiance of the Pacts and tiol commitments. Moreover, ‘D’ voters is a unique problem in this state only. Lakhs of citizens of India have been randomly branded ‘D’ and prevented from exercising their franchise for the last 18 years.

Not only that, police atrocities on them, their detention in camps and even their push back brings out the inhuman treatment meted out to these unfortute people. Their cases have been pending in the Tribuls for years. Without filly settling their citizenship, how can NRC be prepared? Sangram Committee argues citizenship by birth and matrimony are two intertiolly recognized provisions of citizenships. But, in Assam, these provisions are being deliberately ignored, particularly in case of immigrants of Bangladesh. This seems to be a conspiracy on the part of the Government to elimite a vast Bengali speaking population from the NRC.

More complex, Sangram Committee notes, is the submission of 16 specific documents with the applications. In a number of cases, these documents are not available with the applicants for various reasons. The Government has notified two documents, voter list published before 1971 and the NRC of 1951 as base for authentication of citizenship. In some of the districts, it has been learnt, these documents are not available. Under these adverse circumstances, judiciary may be the last resort. But, the Government has ruled out any scope for such evidence.

While reminding rendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, of his commitment at an election rally near this town to treat the cases of the unfortute refugees on humanitarian grounds, NSSC has therefore urged upon him to keep his words. Such voices of concern have been articulated in a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister and sent through the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar today by a delegation of members of Sangram Committee.

Their specific demands before the Prime Minister are (i) prepare NRC in Assam along with the other parts of the country, (ii) solve the ‘D’ voter problem first, (iii) accept any authentic document as proof of citizenship, (iv) give priority and weightage to circumstantial evidence as given in judiciary and (v) assure citizenship to the refugees from Bangladesh.

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