AASU to hold NRC meet on Dec 13

Guwahati: The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and 28 organisations of different indigenous communities have called an urgent meeting on December 13 to discuss the situation following the Supreme Court's verdict on Tuesday regarding update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

The court on Tuesday had nullified a judg#ment of Gauhati High Court, invalidating certificates issued by panchayat secretaries to married women to establish their parental link to update their names in the NRC. The court, however, had said the documents are subject to proper inquiry and verification.

AASU had welcomed the verdict of the court, saying it will make a watertight system to check illegal Bangladeshi migrants from entering their names in the NRC.

The court also reiterated that inclusion of one's name in the NRC would be based on citizenship alone and not on original inhabitant (OI) status. Several organisations had filed petitions in the court seeking definition of OI. The court, however, did not give any definition. AASU and the 28 organisations had been of the view that the system of identification of OI was required for update of the NRC.

According to NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela, of the over two crore people whose names will be entered in the draft NRC, 1.3 crore will get their names into the NRC as OI, the AASU added.

"Our executive body will sit together on December 12 in Guwahati and the next day we will sit with the representatives of the 28 organisations. The meeting will discuss the steps to be taken for update of the NRC and some issues arising out of the Supreme Court order," an AASU leader said. He, however, said the organisations would not take any decision that will go against the court order.

In another development, R. Prasad, commissioner and secretary of the state food and civil supply department, on November 30 had sent a letter to Hajela saying all ration cards in circulation before implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013, have been "cancelled and are invalid." The act was implemented in the state from December 2015. The department has issued new ration cards to beneficiaries under the act.

Verification: The Goalpara district administration is trying its best to finish verification for the NRC by the third week of December. According to information received from the NRC supervision branch at the office of the deputy commissioner, it has fixed December 20 as its target for finishing verification.

Additional reporting by Sofikul Ahmed in Goalpara


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