Silchar: The Indigenous people of Assam were apprehensive about the publication of NRC in a fair manner amidst widespread reports in the media of how forged documents were being used by suspected Bangladeshis to get their names in the updated NRC that was published on August 31, 2019. It came out true. Of the 19 lakh plus left outs, majority are Hindu Bengalis. Concerned at these left outs, North East Linguistic and Ethnic Coordination Committee (NELEC) at a press-meet held on Wednesday here said these unfortunate victims of partition will have now to go through the cumbersome process of FT. As advocate Santanu Naik, general secretary of the Committee, termed this process yet another round of physical, mental and financial torture.
Many can hardly afford it. He referred to the two gazette notifications of September 7, 2015 issued by the Union Home Ministry to grant citizenship to the Hindus, the victims of religious and political persecution, of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. If the twin notifications could become effective in Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan, why not in Assam, asked Naik. This could give protection to the Hindu Bengalis and save them from the extreme harassment.
NELEC demanded the notifications be given immediate effect and implemented by September 22. If otherwise, it might go for mass movement to exert pressure on the State government. Demand was also raised for declaring Barak Valley as a Union Territory with the Bengali dominated areas of Nagaon and Hojai. It would be on the pattern of recently declared Union Territory of Laddakh.
Kanchan Sikdar, a frontline leader, said NRC was not error free despite the tall claim of State Coordinator, Prateek Hajela, that it was fair. Even the Ministry of External Affairs has called the entire NRC exercise as objective and fair. But, the ground reality, pointed out Sikdar, is different. Many with pre 1971 legacy have been dropped. Refugee cards have been rejected. A married woman born and brought up in Shillong could not make it to NRC while her husband and son got enlisted. Those who resorted to fraudulent methods could be comfortable with NRC. NELEC finds the NRC unacceptable and questionable.
Santanu Naik said it is strange another notification has been issued on August 5, asking the left outs to go through FT process. Why cant the Notifications of 2015 be implemented, he asked? The Notification for annulment of the special status of J&K and withdrawal of Article 370 and 35 A could become effective from the day it was notified on August 5 last. Shubhrangshu Bhattachajee, another leader, said they have full faith in the Modi government and are confident CAB will be passed in the next session of Parliament. A NELEC team will soon meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi to discuss the post NRC situation vis-a-vis Hindu Bengalis.