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Assam Congress asks for removal of NRC coordinator

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Sep 7, 2018, 7:00 am IST
Updated : Sep 7, 2018, 7:00 am IST

The stakeholders like AIUDF and Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind were dismayed with the curtailment of the five documents.

The stakeholders like AIUDF and Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind were dismayed with the curtailment of the five documents. (Photo: PTI)
 The stakeholders like AIUDF and Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind were dismayed with the curtailment of the five documents. (Photo: PTI)

Guwahati: Assam Congress leader Debabrata Saikia on Thursday accused the state coordinator of National Register of Citizens (NRC), Prateek Hajela, of misleading the Supreme Court and demanded his expulsion for his proposal to the apex court to dispense with the 1951 NRC and pre-1971 voters’ lists of Assam while dealing with claims and objections relating to omission of over 40 lakh names from the final draft of the NRC.

Mr Saikia, who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Assembly, pointed out that the eligibility criteria framed for the NRC by various stakeholders, including the government, had specifically listed the 1951 NRC and pre-1971 voters’ lists as the first two among important documents for the purpose of verification and these two documents are even mentioned in the relevant part of the Rules, 2003. It is consequently logical to attribute a malafide motive to Mr Hajela’s arbitrary recommendation to drop these two important documents from the verification process, he said.

It is significant that the apex court on Wednesday decided that only 10 of the 15 documents originally permitted to prove citizenship may be allowed to be filed with claims and objections by the people whose names have been left out of the final draft NRC.

However, a bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Rohinton F. Nariman has sought the response of the Centre and other stakeholders on this issue.

The stakeholders like AIUDF and Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind were dismayed with the curtailment of the five documents.

Mr Saikia argued that a large number of people, especially those afflicted by economic and educational backwardness, did not anticipate that a day would come when the names of their parents and grandparents in the 1951 NRC and pre-1971 voters’ lists would not be sufficient ground to prove their citizenship.

These people would be branded as foreigners despite being genuine citizens if Mr Hajela’s proposal is accepted, Mr Saikia said. In any case, changing the eligibility criteria at such an advanced stage of the NRC process is against the demands of natural justice, he added.

Tags: nrc, assam assembly, prateek hajela, nrc coordinator