Foreigners working in NRC Sewa Kendra
GUWAHATI, Aug 12: The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has sought a special monitoring of the Supreme Court at the earliest to scan for aliens who might be involved in the updating process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the State. This demand of the apex students’ organization of Assam bears significance against the backdrop of a government school teacher (who was already declared as a ‘foreigner’ by the Foreigners Tribunal) working in an NRC Sewa Kendra. The student organization further called for a thorough probe into the matter.
Talking to The Sentinel, AASU general secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi said: “It’s a serious issue that a declared foreigner has been working as an NRC employee in the updating process of this sensitive document.” Apprehending the involvement of more such people of doubtful antecedents insofar as their origin or roots are concerned in the NRC updating process, the student leader added: “The mystery behind such involvements has to be solved. A thorough and impartial investigation must be carried out to unravel the mystery. Even the officials who had allowed such persons to work in the NRC updating process should be brought to book.”
Gogoi also posed: “Who knows, some vested interests might be conspiring to derail the entire NRC process? Knowing very well that the final NRC would be the prime shield of the Assamese people, it can be the motive of certain vested sections to include names of people who are not Indian citizens in the NRC. Such inclusions are mainly from the lists of ‘D voters’ and ‘declared foreigners’ and their descendants.”
Pointing to the almost negligible exclusion of people’s names from the final draft NRC in the areas adjacent to the Bangladesh border, the AASU general secretary said: “The very fact that very few names were excluded in the suspected areas along the Assam-Bangladesh border, amply proves that something is definitely wrong somewhere.”
It needs mentioning that Md Khairul Islam, a government school teacher was working in an NRC Sewa Kendra at Mikirbheta in Morigaon district. However, a Foreigners Tribunal had declared him a foreigner in 2016. Later on, Islam challenged the FT opinion in Gauhati High Court, whose verdict is yet to be announced. Subsequently, the Morigaon district administration released Islam from the NRC work on Tuesday.
It has also been reported that in Morigaon district itself, names of 200 people of 39 families and their descendants who were either declared as a foreigner or tagged as ‘D voter’ were included in the final draft NRC.
The NRC is aimed at identifying the number of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Applications were invited in 2015. Around 3.29 crore people had applied for inclusion and around 6.6 crore documents were submitted by the applicants.
While the first draft was published at the strike of midnight on December 31, 2017, the final draft was brought out on July 31, 2018. Of 3.29 crore applicants for the NRC, 2.89 crores have been found eligible for inclusion in the complete draft of NRC.
The entire NRC updating exercise involves 52,000 state government officials, and many others on a contractual basis.