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Thursday, April 18 2024
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Assam

Failure to Complete NRC Re-verification Raises Concerns, Says Upamanyu Hazarika

Upamanyu
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Upamanyu Hazarika, senior Supreme Court advocated challenged the BJP-led central government and Assam government’s claim that they are securing the future of the state’s indigenous communities.
He said that the union government and the Assam government claims that they working in the interest of the Assamese people but they have not even completed the re-verification of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), despite former coordinator Hitesh Dev Sharma bringing attention to “serious errors” in the register before the Supreme Court in 2021.
He mentioned that the Assam government has also “acknowledged” that the presence of “large” number of foreigners unlawfully residing in the state However, no actions have been taken towards its re-verification and to “exclude the estimated 60 lakhs who have been included.” Hazarika noted that the Centre has the authority to undertake re-verification without requiring the approval of the Supreme Court, under whose supervision the exercise was conducted.

The publication of the NRC on August 31, 2019, excluded 1,906,657 out of 3.29 crore applicants, who can contest their exclusion in the foreigners’ tribunals once they receive their rejection slips.
However, neither the excluded individuals have received their rejection slips nor has the NRC been officially notified to date due to objections raised about its alleged flaws.
Hazarika highlighted the urgency of re-verifying the NRC, citing concerns about the projected minority status of the indigenous population in Assam by 2040. He highlighted widespread anomalies and fraud in the NRC process, attributing them to an obsession with the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Despite detailed reports filed by the former NRC coordinator, Hitesh Dev Sarma, documenting NRC subversion, these concerns have been disregarded.
The CAA accelerates citizenship for persecuted non-Muslims from neighboring countries, adding complexity to Assam’s demographics. Hazarika underscored the need for protective measures outlined in the Biplab Kumar Sarma panel report, recommending safeguards for those included in the 1951 NRC or their descendants, but lamented the neglect of these recommendations by political parties.

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