Monday, 30th October 2017

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Protest against ‘fake’ NRC objections

NRC preparation should be carried out under the citizenship act and rules and not under the foreigners act says civil society

By TT Bureau in Guwahati
  • Published 14.05.19, 12:59 AM
  • Updated 14.05.19, 12:59 AM
  • 2 mins read
AAMSU members at the protest in Bongaigaon on Monday. Picture by UB Photos

Members of Brahmaputra Valley Civil Society on Monday staged a two-hour dharna at the District Library compound in Barpeta against “fake” objections in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update process.

The Society demanded that all incomplete objections be rejected. They said “objections have been filed with mala fide intentions by putting signatures of certain persons as objectors without their knowledge”.

The Society submitted a memorandum to the NRC state coordinator through Barpeta deputy commissioner where they said the process of NRC preparation should be carried out under the citizenship act and rules and not under the foreigners act.

The All Assam Minorities Student’s Union (AAMSU) staged a two-hour demonstration on Monday in all the districts, except Barak Valley,

to protest the harassment of the linguistic and religious minorities in the NRC process.

“Some individuals and organisations had filled objections before the NRC authority on 3 lakh linguistic and religious minorities in the state doubting their citizenship but no objectors have been examined if their objections are genuine,” said the union’s president, Rezaul Karim Sarkar, who joined the protest in Bongaigaon on Monday.

The union had sent a memorandum to NRC state co-ordinator Prateek Hajela demanding his intervention to stop the harassment of the genuine citizens on the basis of objections filled by individuals and organisations, Sarkar said.

Under the instigation of Hajela, AASU leaders and the Assam government are harassing people of the minority communities in the name NRC update process, Sarkar alleged. Unidentified miscreants smeared black paint on an All Assam Student Union’s

martyrs’ memorial (swahid bedi) at its Basugaon office in Chirang district on Sunday night.

This is the second such incident after the first one in which Nikhil Bharat Bangali Udbastu Samannay Samiti had attacked an office of the union at Silapathar in Dhemaji district on March 7, 2017.

“Since our members had filed objections to the NRC against 2,500 doubtful citizens of Basugaon locality, desecration of the martyrs’ memorial might be a backlash,” the union’s Chirang district unit general secretary, Dipak Kumar Das, said.

Residents out on morning walks noticed black paint on the martyrs’ memorial and informed the union members.

Chirag district additional superintendent of police Bedanta Prakash Barkakoty visited the union’s office around 11am on Monday.

The union lodged a report at Basugaon police station in the presence of Chirang district superintendent of police Sudhakar Singh, Das said.

Singh had also assured the union of strict action against the culprits, Das added. “It will take time but our investigation is on,” the superintendent of police told The Telegraph.

The union’s central president, Dipanka Kumar Nath, general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi and adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharjya condemned the Basugaon incident and asked their members for restraint so that the NRC update process would proceed smoothly.

Nath visited Basugaon with his team on Monday to take the stock of the situation.

In Goalpara, the chowkidars guarding the NRC service centre in the district alleged that they have been without salaries for a year.

This came to light on Monday when the chowkidars, under the Balijana circle registrar of citizens registration (CRCR) came with a demand to release their pending dues and filed a memorandum.

“We receive only a meagre Rs 2,000 per month. We also have families to support,” said a chowkidar on Monday.

Jiaul Hoque, Sorbin Rabha, Rospen Rabha, Pradip Rabha and Abu Shamar on Monday were part of the team.

The Balijana Circle Registrar of Citizens Registration could not be contacted.

  • Additional reporting by Sunil Kumar Das in Barpeta, Sofikul Ahmed in Goalpara and Tejesh Tripathy in Bongaigaon