Cong., NGOs offer legal help to NRC-excluded in Assam
By Thehindu 22-Aug-2019
Some NGOs have made similar offers, while Independent MP Naba Sarania has said he will appoint 500 people to aid non-Bodo residing in the Bodoland Territorial Council areas who might not make it to the list.
The offers have followed the Centre’s assurance that people left out of the NRC would be given 120 days to present their cases before the Foreigners’ Tribunals.
More than 41 lakh people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were not included in the NRC because of their inability to provide adequate documents to prove their citizenship. Their names were put in two “excluded” lists.
“We don’t want any foreigners to find their place in the NRC. At the same time, no Indian should be taken off the list. Genuine Indians should maintain calm... Our party has set in motion the process of providing legal help,” State Congress president Ripun Bora said on Wednesday.
“We will approach the Supreme Court if needed,” Mr. Sarania said.
The All Assam Students’ Union has resented the bid by “vested interests” to give a communal colour to the NRC updating process. “The process is all about differentiating the Indian citizens from foreigners, irrespective of religion or race,” AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya said.
There have been reports that more than 40 lakh Bengal-origin Muslims would be made Stateless after the final NRC. But almost half of the 41 lakh excluded so far are non-Muslims.
Mr. Bhattacharya added that August 31 would be a decisive day for the indigenous people of Assam who have waited for more than three decades to see a foreigner-free State. The AASU had from 1979-85 spearheaded the Assam Agitation. Undertaking the NRC exercise was one of the points of the Assam Accord of August 1985 that ended the agitation. “An error-free NRC under the SC supervision would be a step toward honouring the Accord,” he said.
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