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July 06, 2015

'Include Bengali Hindu and other migrants in NRC'

Silchar, July 5: A memorandum was sent to Rajnath Singh, Union Home Minister, by the members of the Assam state committee of Hindu Legal Cell on Friday urging upon him to direct the authorities concerned on certain pertinent issues regarding the ongoing NRC update in Assam which might result in eviction of lakhs of Hindus living in the state as their names may not be enlisted in it.
The memorandum stated that the state authorities have opined that those people who cannot show their ancestors’ pre 1971 existence records will not be included in the updated NRC. Such communities mainly constitute the Hindi speaking people, Bengalis and other ethnic groups who have migrated to Assam from various parts of the country. The decision which has been taken by the authorities concerned will make a large number of people stateless.
Though, during the last parliamentary elections Narendra Modi, the present Prime Minister, had assured that if NDA comes to power Hindus who have migrated from other parts of the world will be granted citizenship, but no steps have yet been taken in this regard. Meanwhile, the NRC update has started in Assam which will result in exclusion of lakhs of Hindus presently residing in the state. In view of Section II of Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950, the memorandum urged upon the Union Home Minister to take urgent steps on the issue.
Hindu Legal Cell also highlighted the issue of tea tribes who were brought to the state in colonial times. Most people belonging to this community do not have any pre 1971 records as the tea estates in which they reside do not permit them from maintaining any independent family records. The memorandum said that the tea tribe community must be included in the NRC update after their records have been collected and verified from the respective tea estates.
Regarding the 1951 NRC, the memorandum stated that it is incomplete as around half the population of Assam particularly the tribal communities were not included in it. Hindu Legal Cell requested that a special drive with appropriate modalities has to be evolved so that the tribal community is not excluded again in NRC 2015-16 unlike in the case of previous NRC 1951.
They also highlighted the cases of people, in some cases entire families, who are lodged in jails for whom no provisions have been taken to include their names in the ongoing update process. It will not only be illegal but also unconstitutional and gross violation of their human rights. The Hindu Legal Cell requested the Union Home Minister to ensure that their names are also included in the updated NRC.
The memorandum further said that the date of submission of the forms should be extended beyond July 31, which is the last date, as there was a delay in distribution of the forms and many people, particularly from rural areas, have not received the forms and are yet to fill it up. Besides, the persons who have been employed in NRC Seva Kendras (NSK) are not properly trained which is causing a lot of harassment to the applicants. Further, the electronic gadgets being used in NSKs are not functioning properly which must be seriously looked into.
The members of the Cell requested the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to look into the issues and instruct the authorities concerned to take necessary steps. The memorandum was signed by Dharmananda Deb, convener, and Mriganka Bhattacharjee, joint convener, Hindu Legal Cell, Assam state committee. The copies of the memorandum have been sent to Dr. C Chandramouli, IAS, Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, and Prateek Hajela, IAS, State Coordinator of National Registrar of Citizens, Assam. (Source:SentinelAssam)

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