Assam RTI activist Dulal Bora has lodged a complaint with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) against four social activists for alleged “misrepresentation” on and collection of money in the name of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
In a letter addressed to additional director-general of police (CID) L.R. Bishnoi, dated August 13 and made public on Friday, Bora alleged that Rehna Sultana, a PhD student from Gauhati University, Sofiqul Islam, another student from GU, Mausami Chetia, a Hague-based PhD researcher, and Ashraful Hussain, a social activist, were engaged in “anti-India activities” and creating “terror” by “misrepresenting” the NRC update process on the social media.
The letter alleged that the four social activists were “deliberately” linking the NRC issue with the scrapping of Section 370 in Jammu and Kashmir by comparing the plight of the minority Muslims with that of Kashmiris.
The letter says, “After the sacrifice of 855 martyrs and decades-long struggle, when the people of Assam are waiting for the publication of NRC on August 31, some miscreants are creating a false impression about NRC. They are trying to create a volatile situation by dragging scrapping of Section 370 into NRC.”
It says “miscreants” have been linking peoples’ inconvenience in attending NRC hearings far away from home at short notice and reports of bus accidents with Article 370.
“The miscreants want to tell the people that after the scrapping of Section 370 in Kashmir, the people who went to attend NRC hearings met with accidents in Assam and that Muslims from lower Assam have been facing physical torture in the name of NRC hearing, like having to sell their cattle, land and jewellery to collect Rs 40,000 to Rs 90,000 to attend hearings in Upper Assam. But there is no Hindu-Muslim angle to it. According to NRC norms, it is mandatory to be present physically at the hearings with the required documents. So, is it valid to only highlight the plight and inconveniences of the minority Muslims from lower Assam and open bank accounts for them?” the letter asks.
It alleges that the four were collecting money through bank accounts in the name of the people who had to travel long distances to attend NRC hearings. It urged the additional director-general of police (CID) to initiate an inquiry and arrest the “miscreants”.
Bora told The Telegraph, “Who gave them the right to collect money and express opinions by comparing the situation in Kashmir with that of Assam? The ADGP should investigate the money angle. The bank accounts should be captured and they should be arrested under the law. I may move the court as well.”
Bishnoi said, “I have directed an inquiry at the DSP level with allotted seven-day time. The IGP will monitor the matter, the details of which will be known after 10 days.”
Hussain said, “I feel Bora should be investigated instead of us. His bank account details should be brought to light. We have been engaged with NRC since 2015 (the year NRC verification began) and earlier. We help the poor and illiterate people with NRC. We want a fair NRC. We never dragged Kashmir issue with NRC. We have details of the people who gave us money and to whom the money was given. We have nothing to fear.” Rehna said, “This is happening because of the humanitarian work we are doing.” Sofikul and Mausami could not be contacted.