GUWAHATI, Sept 24: Assam parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on Monday denied allegations that the state government was interfering with the process of updating of National Register of Citizens (NRC) for excluding people’s names, saying no genuine Indians would be left out.
Replying a stared question from AIUDF member Aminul Aslam on behalf of the chief minister, Patowary said that the NRC was being updated under the Supreme Court’s direct supervision and there was no question of any interference. He said that the government would ensure that that no foreigner’s name is included in the updated NRC.
“Under the ministry of home affairs instruction the Assam government has issued directions to all the SPs and DCs that no action for fresh inquiry or reference to tribunals should be initiated by the administration or police till the final NRC is published,” he said.
The tribunals, however, may issue notices regarding the cases referred to it before the publication of the final NRC draft, he said.
He also informed the House that the state government had filed two affidavits in the Supreme Court to accept the earlier-mentioned 15 documents during the claims-and-objection process, instead of new guidelines of 10 documents only.
On the Congress and AIUDF seeking removal of NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela, Patowary expressed helplessness, saying he had been instructed by the apex court not to share any information regarding NRC with the legislators, judiciary and executives.
“Hajela had recently submitted a letter to the SC in a sealed envelope. We do not know what is there. We have requested the Supreme Court to share information with us as law and order is a state subject. It is a very sensitive subject,” he added.
The assembly witnessed some noisy scenes during the discussion over alleged harassment of people over proving of their citizenship. The Opposition pointed out a few cases, where some people were harassed by the tribunal authorities, but Patowary termed them “rare”.
He informed that 4,55,976 cases of ‘D’ (doubtful) voters have been referred to the tribunals till December 2017.
From January-April this year, a total of 1,079 cases have been forwarded by the border police and the total number of ‘D’ voters in the draft electoral roll published on September 15 is 1,19,559, he added.
Shiladitya’s innovative protest
BJP MLA from Hojai Shiladitya Dev on Monday said that no Hindus living in India are foreigners.
Dev entered the Assam Legislative Assembly holding a placard that read- “My Lord do not discriminate your own children. Hindu–born in India.”
Dev displayed the card addressing the Judges of the Supreme Court. The NRC update process is being carried out under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court. A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman are monitoring the update process.
Dev showed placard in front of the assembly against the NRC updation process. Dev expressed his dissatisfaction over the NRC updation process after the Supreme Court directive to drop five documents among the 15 listed documents for the claims and objections process.
Dev said, “India is a democratic country and we believe in democracy and it is by the people, for the people and the people.”
He criticized Prateek Hajela, state NRC Coordinator.
It is to be mentioned that, the apex court had accepted the proposal of Hajela to drop five documents among the 15 listed documents for the claims and objections process.