Assam NRC: CM Sonowal promises due care of excluded people on the night before the big day
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal promised that no one will be harassed as his government will take due care of the people excluded from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) due for release Saturday. He also appealed to the people of the state to maintain peace and tranquillity.
Thanking the public for their support to the four-year long NRC updating process--monitored by the Supreme Court-- Sonowal said the final list is the “outcome of untiring efforts of thousands of people”.
The CM reiterated that those left out of the final NRC would get an opportunity to file appeals in foreigners’ tribunals within 120 days of publication of the list.
“Government of Assam will take care of the cause of the excluded people and due care will be taken so that nobody is subjected to any unnecessary harassment,” he said.
“As long as appellant’s plea remains sub-judice with foreigners’ tribunal, he or she can’t be treated as foreigner,” added Sonowal.
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Assam Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said, “The situation in Assam as per law and order and other aspects is calm, quiet and very normal. The situation is under control and proper law and order plan and proper requirement plan has been put in place.”
Saikia said the state has as many as 218 companies of the central paramilitary forces deployed across the state.
“We have a three-pronged strategy. One is community outreach, second is deployment of forces- that is done, and the third is sensitivity analysis of different areas as per history and other parameters. This has been giving us good results,” he said, adding that the peace loving people of Assam will contribute to peace and public order like the last two times when the draft was published.
Saikia said any activity disturbing communal harmony or rumour mongering will be dealt with strongly.
According to a senior police official in the district, there will be adequate security across the state including outside the 2500 NRC Seva Kendras (NSK). A close watch is being kept on social media, he added.
Moreover, the control room of the special branch, the intelligence wing will be used to monitor and exchange information in real time from all districts. A senior police officer also informed that Section 144 was in place in most districts.
“In any such situation there are anti-social elements who try to create problems for society, we are keeping our forces ready for that purpose,” Saikia said.
Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the heavy deployment of security forces was creating panic.
“It means the NRC has not been prepared correctly, that is why the government is anticipating problems. The government should have said there is no reason to worry and that all genuine citizens will be included and no foreigner will be there,” he said.
Gogoi said he feared a lot of genuine Indians will be left out, before adding that he hoped to be proven wrong. “We will be behind genuine Indian citizens, irrespective of their religion. I am apprehensive that a large number of Bengali Hindus may be left out,” he added.