Indigenous persons with area-specific surmes should be deemed Indian in NRC: APW petitions SC

By Our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, April 24: Any person bearing an area specific surme of Assam like Boro, rzary, Patar, Rava, Lalthansa, Taid, Gogoi, Gohain, Hazarika, Saikia should be deemed as Indian automatically, the Assam Public Works has appealed to the Supreme Court.

In an additiol affidavit to the apex court, the APW has pointed out some aberrations in the NRC update process and sought fresh instructions regarding the modalities.

In its appeal, the APW said that ‘Area Specific Surmes’ of Assam must be included along with 12 documents to prove one’s citizenship.

“Any person bearing an area specific surme of Assam, like Boro, rzary, Patar, Rava, Lalthansa, Taid, Gogoi, Gohain, Hazarika, Saikia etc will be deemed as Indian automatically (like in rest of the country under Rule 4),” the affidavit said.

It also said that all tea tribe surmes like Munda, Kurmi, Tanti etc should automatically be included in NRC as Indian citizens. In their case, however, the permanent residential address needs to be checked as large part of their society reside outside Assam in their origil tive land, APW chairman Aabhijeet Sharma said.

The APW appealed for the fresh modalities claiming that many indigenous Assamese do not have any connection with legacy documents or any of the documents as fixed by the Government to prove their citizenship. Moreover, the NRC’51 is not available in certain areas.

“That for all over the country the tiol Register of Indian Citizens is compiled under Rule 4 as per provisions of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizen and issue of tiol Identity Cards) Rules 2003, through house to house enumeration, but for Assam Rule 4 is replaced by Rule 4A, where indigenous people will have to apply to prove that they are Indians. It is derogatory to the people of Assam unless they are automatically accepted as Indian citizens on the basis of their “area specific surmes” of Assam only,” the affidavit stated.

The organizations also said that the ration card must not be included as a document to prove one’s citizenship as there are a lot of ghost ration cards in circulation and that such cards could be obtained through forged means easily.

The APW further stated that in order to distinguish an indigenous Assamese Indian and a pre-25th March 1971 Bangladeshi regularized now as Indian citizen, the applications should be called in two phases.

“In Phase I, the pre-25th March’71 Bangladeshi immigrants should ‘apply’ as per Government’s modality of ‘application’ to be regularized as Indian citizens. Their mes are entered in the tiol Registrar of Indian Citizens (NRIC) after this phase.

“In Phase Phase II, all Indian residents of Assam should ‘apply’. This is necessary to establish who is eligible for availing the constitutiol, legal and administrative safeguards as enshrined in per Clause 6 of the Assam Accord of 1985. Else there will not be any distinction between the pre- 25 March, 1971 Bangladeshi and an indigenous Assamese,” the APW stated.

The APW also prayed to the apex court to deliberate upon the definition of “indigenous Assamese” as expounded by the Speaker of the Assembly and

give a ‘direction’ as to the definition of “indigenous Assamese” and end the needless political controversy over the issue.

It also appealed that any dereliction of duty or malafide work by any officer in the NRIC update work should be actioble under tiol Security Act only.

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