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Assam groups get set to register complaints over citizens’ registry on Friday

The claims and objections exercise, a process to rectify anomalies in the Assam NRC draft, which was released on July 30, will start on Friday.

india Updated: Aug 08, 2018 23:04 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Assam NRC,Assam,Assam illegal immigrants
People wait to check their names on the draft list at the National Register of Citizens (NRC) centre at a village in Nagaon district, Assam.(Reuters Photo)

Amid fears that ‘illegal immigrants’ may have got into the full draft list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), organisations in the Assam are preparing to file objections against such entries. The claims and objections exercise, a process to rectify anomalies in the draft, which was released on July 30, will start on Friday.

Asom Gana Parishad leader and former chief minister Prafulla Mahanta demanded that the NRC secretariat should not resort to penalising those filing objections. “I have heard they are going to levy a penalty of Rs 50,000 on those who file objections but are not able to prove it. It is difficult to prove. If such penalties are there who is going to file the objections,” he said.

A standard operating procedure for the claims and objections exercise will be submitted to the Supreme Court by the ministry of home affairs in consultation with the NRC secretariat before the next hearing in the apex court slated for August 16 .

“There have been estimates of over 50 lakh or more illegal immigrants in the state. Draft only excludes a little over 40 lakh. What happened to the rest,” said Palash Changmai, general secretary of the Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, a student organisation.

“There have been instances of people declared as foreigners and (doubtful) D-Voters who have managed to find a place in the NRC. Look at Morigaon where so many people who are foreigners and D-Voters have been included,” he said, adding the student body’s local units are preparing to file objections agianst such cases. “We will also help genuine Indian citizens who have been left out,” said Changmai.

The All Assam Students Union (AASU), the student body at the forefront of the agitation that culminated in the Assam Accord, which formed the basis for the NRC, said the organisation will not file objections but will support individuals who are going to file it.

“It is our moral duty to make sure that nobody who is not an Indian citizen manages to get into the NRC,” said Lurin Jyoti Gogoi, AASU general secretary, adding that the organization is not doing it as “it could be termed as communal”.

“AASU and 28 other indigenous groups will support efforts to file objections, provide technical and other support,” he said, adding the organisations will also assist genuine cases who have been excluded.

“There are districts that we know have a large number of Bangladeshis. But the exclusion rate is less,” he said without naming any district.

“We are studying the NRC draft list thoroughly. Once we are done, we will decide our future course of action,” said Promode Bodo, president of the All Assam Bodo Students Union (AABSU).

Meanwhile, minority groups are upset with these plans. “This is another ploy to harass the minorities,” said Azizur Rehman, chief coordinator of the Coordination Committee of Minority Organisations, an umbrella group.

First Published: Aug 08, 2018 23:04 IST