Former Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Tuesday advised the Assam government to appeal to the Supreme Court to extend the date of transfer of NRC state co-ordinator Prateek Hajela.
The Supreme Court on Friday gave seven days to the government to transfer Hajela to Madhya Pradesh following his reported submission to the court about a possible threat to his life after the publication of the final NRC.
The final NRC was published on August 31. The names of over 19 lakh applicants were excluded and several organisations and the ruling BJP expressed dissatisfaction. They were also critical about Hajela’s role in updating the NRC.
“The Assam government should file an affidavit with the Supreme Court, seeking more time to release Hajela. Without him. the NRC update exercise would be rudderless,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi said the Supreme Court’s notice to transfer Hajela within short notice is unacceptable. He blamed the court for issuing the directions without having an alternative. Gogoi’s comment comes at a time when the state government is in a fix on how to go ahead with the court’s order. There have been reports that senior officials of the government are not interested in being the NRC coordinator.
Gogoi also slammed the state government for its alleged failure to give security to Hajela. The veteran politician also demanded the Bharat Ratna for Kushal Konwar, a martyr of the Quit India Movement in Assam.
Gogoi argued that Konwar is more fit for the country’s top award than Veer (Vinayak Damodar) Savarkar, upon whom the BJP had promised to confer Bharat Ratna ahead of the Assembly election in Maharashtra.
“Savarkar is an accused in the conspiracy case to eliminate Mahatma Gandhi. I think Kushal Konwar, who had embraced martyrdom during the Quit India Movement, deserves Bharat Ratna,” he said.
Gogoi criticised chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal for his alleged failure to keep his promise to hear the incident of killing of Deben Dutta in a fast track court. Dutta, a tea garden doctor in Upper Assam’s Jorhat district was killed in a mob attack recently.