Demand to re-verify NRC by Supreme Court judge
Prabajan Virodhi Manch, a forum against infiltration, on Tuesday demanded an independent committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge and comprising officials of others states for re-verification of National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Manch convener Upamanyu Hazarika told reporters here, “It is the only way to get a free and fair NRC in the state. It is a matter of great shame and tragedy for the people of Assam and citizens of India that 70,000 declared foreigners should not only have gone missing but also found their way in the electoral rolls and NRC. There are multiple instances of declared foreigners having found their names in the electoral rolls. Despite (the Manch) having filed petitions regarding discrepancies in the NRC and the Supreme Court having directed sample re-verification of 10 per cent of NRC draft inclusion, the government has taken no steps. Other political parties and the state government are seeking relaxation of norms to include all those left out from the NRC.”
Hazarika alleged that the four years of NRC update process had proved that “all our political parties and leaders in and out of power are only too ready to betray the indigenous cause. Our chief minister (Sarbananda Sonowal) maintains a studied silence so that he can escape responsibility and continue to cling on to the chief minister’s post.”
Hazarika will contest from Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency as an Independent. Supported by the Manch, he is likely to file his nominations by Thursday.
He also released his election manifesto during the news conference on Tuesday.
The Supreme Court had on Monday expressed unhappiness over the state government’s inaction in tracking, identifying and deporting the around 70,000 illegal migrants, declared “foreigners” by tribunals, who had merged with the local population.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, annoyed that the Assam chief secretary had failed to turn up for the hearing despite being asked on March 13 to do so, even threatened to initiate contempt action and issue a non-bailable warrant against him. The move was, however, dropped after solicitor-general Tushar Mehta gave an undertaking that the official would be present in court during the next hearing on April 8 to explain measures taken to deport illegal migrants.
Justice Gogoi had also remarked on Monday, “The government of Assam is playing with this court…your affidavit (state) is an exercise in futility.”
Hazarika, reacting to the Supreme Court’s order, said, “The government is not taking the NRC issue seriously. Very surprisingly, other parties are also not reacting to the situation. They are simply dragging the issue for their own political interests. We need a ground-level re-verification to ensure a correct NRC and that will be possible only if there is an independent committee headed by a high institution.”