Serious resentment brewing among Barak people

Left: Assam State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela, Right: Representative image of Barak Valley protests


Special Correspondent
Silchar, June 7: Serious resentment has been brewing among the people of Barak Valley who have been subjected to a lot of questioning and cross examination ever since the process to update the NRC has been initiated. Those under target in the name of verification of their documents and other papers related to family tree include not only Bengali speaking people but also Manipuris, Bishnupriya Manipuris, Hindi speaking people, Naga, Hmar, Dimasa, Khasia, Reang as well as other 11 tribal groups.

It is a most unspeakable situation for the helpless and poor people in particular who have no means but have been directed to move from one part of the district to another part of the state just for testifying to the documents submitted by them at the time of application. The non Assamese have to face indescribable difficulties in replying to the answers of the LRCRs. Many have not even received the notices after the expiry of dates of their appearance. Some of them after contacting with the respective seva kendras have been told that their documents have been verified.

Prof. Niranjan Dutta, president, Naragik Adhikar Raksha Samanvay Committee, Cachar unit, quite justifiably raises question about the fate of these unfortunate people. The very contradictory statements of Prateek Hajela, NRC state coordinator, every alternate day make it clear that he is carrying on the update process under the pressure of chauvinistic forces. Citing specific directives issued by the coordinator on May 1 and May 2, Prof. Dutta dubbed them, as unconstitutional and unacceptable.

LRCRs have been asked not to admit any of the affidavits with spelling errors in names, treat all the certificates issued after one year of birth as unacceptable and not to take cognizance of the voter lists if their original copies are not available with the state. Most astounding is the directive which says citizenship certificates and refugee cards are not to be accepted since there is no state department concerned existing to recheck them.

Naragik Adhikar Raksha Samanvay Committee taking serious exception to these directives said such steps are being taken with devious motive to drop the names of non Assamese from the final draft of NRC. This also stands in glaring contrast to a judgement of the Supreme Court of India which has said the old documents submitted by an applicant can be examined by any official related to NRC update. The applicants can also testify with the help of witnesses. The question of any problem in regard to verification of legal documents does not arise, pointed out Madhusudan Kar, secretary, Naragik Adhikar Raksha Samanvay Committee.

Quite unfortunate, Prateek Hajela is not giving any importance to the directives or related judgements of the Supreme Court. It is now an open secret that the names of lakhs of non Assamese people will be dropped from the final draft. There is a deep rooted conspiracy to deprive citizenship to the genuine Indian citizens and turn them into stateless people. In order to resist such a sinister design, Naragik Adhikar Raksha Samanvay Committee has given a call for mass convention on June 23 to be held at Narsingtola ground here.