Some 100 paralegals in Assam have been trained to help defend the citizenship of people whose names will be excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which is to be published on August 31.
The three-day training in Guwahati to “navigate the complex issue of citizenship after the publication of the list” was organised by Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), a non-governmental organisation.
“We do not want any genuine Indian citizen to suffer on account of lack of proper legal advice. CJP has about 500 volunteers working across 19 districts. Nearly 100 of them were trained in the workshop. More workshops have been planned in other regions of the State,” CJP secretary Teesta Setalvad said.
According to CJP’s Zamsher Ali, printed and electronic training manuals will be prepared to ensure that basic and competent approaches by village and district-level legal practitioners and paralegals do not falter in the appeal-filing process for lack of depth and competence.
“From Bengali speaking people, to religious minorities, to Gorkhas and even tribals… everyone is suffering. People are dying. Some have committed suicide, some have died in detention camps. After the list comes out, those left out might suffer more. This is why CJP is reaching out to all these people irrespective of their religious or linguistic background,” Mr. Ali said.