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Assam police registers case against Mamata Banerjee over NRC remark

The West Bengal chief minister had accused the Centre of hatching a conspiracy to drive out Bengalis from Assam by excluding their names from the first draft of National Register of Citizens.

india Updated: Jan 04, 2018 21:13 IST
Rahul Karmakar
Rahul Karmakar
Guwahati, Hindustan Times
Mamata Banerjee,NRC remark,Assam police
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI)

The Assam Police on Thursday registered a case against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee following complaints alleging she made inflammatory speech over the updating of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the northeastern state.

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government in Assam also condemned Banerjee for her remarks on Wednesday that the Narendra Modi government was “conspiring” to strike off the names of 12.5 million Bengalis from the updated NRC to eventually drive them out in a move “similar to Bongal kheda of the 1960s” that made over 50,000 take refuge in Bengal.

“What she (Banerjee) said is unbecoming of a chief minister and is an insult to the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the NRC updating exercise taken up by the Registrar General of India (RGI). The state government is merely a facilitator,” Assam industries minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said.

“Our government has taken utmost care to ensure a smooth updating exercise, but her party and others are unhappy that there has been no violence or communal tension to cash in on,” he added.

While social activist Kailash Sharma and advocate Tailendra Nath Das lodged separate police complaints against Banerjee for her “inflammatory speech”, the state BJP urged the Registrar General of India and the officials involved in the NRC exercise to file a case against her in the Supreme Court.

“Banerjee made the comment to lure Bengali-speaking people towards Trinamool Congress because the BJP is gaining ground in her state. Bengalis in Assam have had no issues with NRC but she is playing a dangerous game even if it means contempt of court,” state BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said.

The NRC of 1951 is being updated in Assam under the supervision of the Supreme Court to identify original residents of the state in order to check illegal migration. Its first draft was published on December 31 midnight.

The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) also lashed out at Banerjee.

“At a time when the situation in Assam is sensitive on the citizenship issue, such a statement from a responsible person like Mamata Di is uncalled for and condemnable. The NRC is being prepared under the guidance and supervision of the SC and we have full faith on the government machinery and hope for an error-free NRC with the names of all genuine citizens,” AIUDF chief Maulana Badruddin Ahmed said.

The Congress, on the other hand, shot off a letter to RGI alleging “deliberate negligence” on the part of NRC authorities in verifying documents in 208 NRC Sewa Kendras across 13 districts.

Most of these districts – such as Barpeta, Dhubri, Goalpara, Nagaon, Morigaon, Karimganj and Hailakandi – are Muslim-dominated.

“After publication of part of the draft NRC at the stroke of December 31 midnight, it has come to light that in these 208 centres, only a few applications were verified as a result (of which) names of only 10% of the population have appeared,” state Congress president Ripun Bora wrote.

“From the apparent view of the above situation, it reveals that religious minority and linguistic minority people are pre-dominant in these 13 districts. Therefore, utmost care should be taken in verifying the documents in these districts,” Bora said, demanding a probe into deliberate sloth in accommodating 90% of people in minority-dominated districts.

First Published: Jan 04, 2018 20:17 IST