Guwahati, Dec. 20: The Opposition AIUDF today sought permanent resident certificate (PRC) for internally displaced persons.
Speaking in the Assembly, AIUDF legislator from Baghbor Sherman Ali Ahmed made a strong case for issuance of the official document on the ground that since those affected by erosion were not rehabilitated, they faced a lot of problem when they had to go out to eke out a living.
“Therefore, it will be in fitness of things to issue a PRC to the effect that they are internally displaced persons but Indian citizens. They are often harassed while going out to work, particularly at Byrnihat in Meghalaya,” he said while asking a supplementary during question hour.
Relief and rehabilitation minister Prithibi Majhi said since there was no provision to rehabilitate the erosion-hit, chief minister Tarun Gogoi was trying to include it in the Calamity Relief Fund.
Unhappy with the reply, Ahmed and his colleagues insisted on the PRC given the trouble faced by the displaced. Soon the AIUDF and Congress MLAs got into a heated exchange.
Forest minister Rakibul Hussain stepped in and said Majhi had responded to queries related to relief and rehabilitation and if they wanted a specific reply to the harassment issue they should raise it under a separate device.
The government was ready to discuss it and take appropriate steps.
The BJP said move, if implemented, would defeat the very purpose of updating the National Register of Citizens.
BJP legislator Prasanta Phukan questioned outside the House, “If PRCs are to be allotted what is the use of updating the NRC? We fear it will only allow suspected Bangla-deshis to acquire Indian citizenship. There are other ways to provide rehab.”
Congress’s Bhupen Borah in a supplementary sought a special package for those affected by the 2008 flood in Lakhimpur.
He said Dispur did not seem interested in talks with the anti-dam lobby, a remark which has not gone down well with the government, Hussain indicated to The Telegraph.