GUWAHATI, Aug 7: Expressing distress over the restriction of entry of visitors from Assam, Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia wrote letters to the chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Manipur on Monday appealing to them to check the harassment on Assamese people.
Notably, following the publication of draft NRC in Assam, the State machinery in association with the students’ unions of these four states started checking the identities of every individual entering from Assam on the pretext that the doubtful citizens excluded from the draft NRC will infiltrate into their states.
In his letter to the chief ministers, Saikia said, “It has been acknowledged by all stakeholders, including the State NRC Authority that many out of the 40 lakh omissions are the result of technicalities and they are likely to be included in the final NRC after they establish their credentials during the claims and objections phase. It is for this reason that the Supreme Court has already clarified that those excluded from the final draft of the NRC are not to be treated as foreigners till such time as the claims and objections phase is completed and the final NRC is published.”
In order to prevent the situation from deteriorating any further, Saikia appealed to the respective chief ministers to launch an awareness drive among the populace highlighting the stand of the Supreme Court and the Union Home Minister on the issue of those omitted from the final draft of the NRC. “I request you to ensure that no visitor or settler from Assam is harassed in your state on the mere suspicion of their being illegal foreign migrants. Such vigilantism can adversely impact the fraternal bonds between the governments and people of respective states and create a backlash in the days to come,” he added in his letter.