Other States

NRC is waste paper: Gogoi

Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday waded into the Sarbananda Sonowal government’s “mishandling” of ex-serviceman Mohammed Sanaullah’s case to question the validity of the process to update the National Register of Citizens. He said the NRC has been designed to omit more than 100,000 genuine Indian citizens who settled in Assam up to the midnight of March 24, 1971, the cut-off date for detecting and deporting illegal migrants as per the Assam Accord of 1983. “The NRC is waste paper and has become useless with lakhs of genuine citizens certain to be excluded from the final draft of the NRC to be published by July,” Mr Gogoi said, adding that the Supreme Court should not have given the responsibility of updating the citizens’ register solely to State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela.

Referring to Mr Sanaullah’s case, the former CM said the NRC exercise for detecting illegal foreigners by spending a fortune has been wasted.

“The Assam government has no contribution in the Gauhati High Court granting bail to Sanaullah. The government has even failed to take action against the investigating officer who lodged the FIR against him. People have lost faith in the Foreigners’ Tribunals whose functioning needs to be probed,” Mr. Gogoi said.

Assam has 100 Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) which are quasi-judicial bodies to decide the fate of people marked as doubtful citizens by Assam Police’s border wing.

Foreigner factory’

The All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) also criticised Chief Minister Sonowal for failing to stand up for the ex-serviceman who was sent to the Goalpara detention centre for foreigners on May 28.

“The Border Police and FTs are basically factories for turning genuine citizens into foreigners and they are working according to the whims of the government,” AAMSU president Rejaul Karim Sarkar said.

“Officials have orders to harass the religious and linguistic minorities and that is why the CM did not initiate any action against Sanaullah’s detention. Officials of Border Police and FTs go by Muslim and Hindu Bengali names and assume them to be foreigners,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2020 6:56:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nrc-is-waste-paper-gogoi/article27703052.ece

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