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Supreme Court orders not followed in Assam’s NRC exercise: All Assam Minority Students’ Union

“A bid to harass minority communities”.

May 19, 2019 10:27 pm | Updated 10:27 pm IST - GUWAHATI

Women at an NRC Centre in Morigaon district of Assam on July 30, 2018.

Women at an NRC Centre in Morigaon district of Assam on July 30, 2018.

The All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) on Sunday said the claims and objections round of the exercise to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was not being conducted as per the Supreme Court’s instructions as well as the Standard Operating Procedure set by the Centre in November 2018.

The union said this was being done to harass minorities. Appeals to NRC State coordinator Prateek Hajela for action against “whimsical” officials handling NRC service centres had fallen on deaf ears, it said. “According to sub-clause 3.2 of the Standard Operating Procedure, any person filing false objections is liable to be imprisoned up to five years and fined up to ₹50,000 under clause 17 of the Citizenship Act of 1955. Leave apart punishment, the NRC authorities are not providing the addresses and other details of the objectors in the notices to people whose citizenship is being doubted. This is against rules,” AAMSU adviser Azizur Rahman said.

Over 40 lakh excluded

Of the 3.29 crore people who applied for inclusion in the updated NRC, 40.07 lakh were excluded. While 36 lakh of those left out had re-applied, about 3 lakh objections were filed against those who were included in the draft published in June 2018.

About 2.5 lakh of such objections were filed on December 31, 2018, the last day of the claims and objections round.

“The ground-level officers who head the NRC centres need to keep separate registers for claims (by people in NRC seeking corrections or changes) with complete details of each claimant and objector. We are not being told if this is being done,” Mr. Rahman said.

The union also said the NRC authorities were calling people for hearing at short notice despite clause 5 of the Standard Operating Procedure making it clear that a notice should be served at least 15 days prior to hearing.

The Supreme Court has set July 30 as the deadline for publishing the complete, error-free NRC.

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