The Congress has sought Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s intervention in stopping an allegedly biased Assam government from deleting lakhs of Indian citizens from the process of updating the Supreme Court-monitored National Register of Citizens in the State.
The first draft containing the names of 1.9 crore out of 3.29 crore applicants was published on December 31 last year. The second and final draft is scheduled to be published on July 30.
In a memorandum to Mr. Singh in New Delhi on Thursday, Rajya Sabha member and Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president and Ripun Bora claimed “several lakh Indian citizens will find no place” in the draft NRC as the Assam government wanted to misuse the NRC for political gains by “creating religious polarisation”.
Mr. Bora said the APCC has specific information that names of lakhs of people belonging to religious and linguistic minority communities as well as Nepali people will be deleted from the draft NRC. Documents of citizenship of such people were rejected on flimsy grounds deliberately, he claimed.
“It is very surprising that the SC directed to delete names of 1.5 lakh people whose names appeared in the first draft. Apart from putting on hold the names of 1.25 lakh D-voters [doubtful voters] and their descendants, names of some 90,000 declared foreigners and their descendants will not appear in the final draft. The names of another 1.72 lakh people and their descendants whose cases are pending in the Foreigners’ Tribunals will also not appear in the draft NRC,” the APCC president said.
Accusing officers of NRC Seva Kendras of rejecting documents of many people of targeted groups with certain motive, Mr. Bora said many D-voters declared as Indian citizens by the Foreigners’ Tribunals have been marked D-voters again and sent notices.
“Even some families of original inhabitants, freedom fighters and sons of the soil have been made D-voters to deprive them from registering their names in the draft NRC,” he claimed, pointing out that minority people who move to different parts of Assam for work as labourers have been the worst sufferers.
The APCC president said panic has set in among people feeling victimised.
“If, as we apprehend, the names of lakhs of genuine Indians are left out, it will not only be an injustice but abuse of constitutional powers. People will lose faith in the administrative system and some vested interest groups may take advantage of the [insecurity] to create social unrest,” Mr. Bora said.
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