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Politics India

Now, AJP pushes for ‘error-free’ NRC in Assam

Holds BJP-led government accountable for “corrected” NRC to weed out “infiltrators”

Sabrangindia 11 May 2022

Assam NRC
Image courtesy: The Wire

The chorus for an “error-free” National Register of Citizens (NRC) is growing in Assam. Now, the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has raised the demand yet again, and in fact claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government has reneged on its election time promise of ensuring the publication of a “corrected” NRC.

“Our demand is for an updated error-free NRC because there have been reports or proof of presence of illegal foreigners in the list. However, the state government has not taken any step to ensure an error-free, foreigner-free NRC,” AJP president Lurinjyoti Gogoi was quoted saying in Guwahati by The Telegraph. Gogoi was joined by AJP general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan. The AJP, an ethno-linguistically driven political group was formed on December 17, 2020.

The latest updated NRC was published on August 31, 2019 after a mammoth exercise where 3.2 crore people of Assam submitted over 6 crore documents that underwent seven layers of checks before their names were included in the NRC. Finally, 19,06,657 people were excluded from the coveted list. These include people who have either been declared foreigners by Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT), people who have been marked suspected foreigner by the Assam Border Police and people who have been marked ‘doubtful’ or D Voter by the Election Commission. Their siblings and children have also been excluded from the NRC.

However, the Assam government and other ethno-linguistic groups like the All Assam Students Union (AASU) were not happy with the NRC as they claimed names of “foreigners” had been included in the list. In fact, even before the NRC was published, they had moved one petition before the Supreme Court demanding reverification in border areas, but this was rejected the plea on July 23, 2019 saying, “We have also read and considered the response of Mr. Hazela, the learned Coordinator on this aspect of the matter and specifically, the stand taken by him in his report dated 18.7.2019, which is to the effect that in the course of consideration/adjudication of the claims, re-verification to the extent of 27% has already been done.”

Since then, the government has been working towards moving another petition and even announced this intention in the State Assembly. In May 2021, the NRC Coordinator, once again moved Supreme Court demanding a reverification of the NRC, saying that due to major irregularity many names of ineligible people had made it to the list, and that there was absence of backend verification of electoral rolls and the process of Office and Field Verifications being used to check applications was unable to detect “manipulated or manufactured secondary documents”. Fresh allegations about flaws in the NRC made in this application moved before the Supreme Court, may be read here.

Readers would recall that the original case that led to the Supreme Court monitored NRC update process was filed by a group called Assam Public Works (APW). Now, APW president Aabhijeet Sharma has also mentioned the reverification appeal in the Supreme Court, telling The Telegraph, “The state government is only playing with words like reverification and new NRC. It calls civil society organisations when it is in trouble on sensitive issues. It should come forward and move the Supreme Court so the process gets expedited.”

Related:

AASU and Assam Gov’t agree to push for NRC reverification again
Assam FT deems Assam NRC to be final NRC
Was the entire Assam NRC process in vain?
Yet another NRC reverification plea moved before SC

Now, AJP pushes for ‘error-free’ NRC in Assam

Holds BJP-led government accountable for “corrected” NRC to weed out “infiltrators”

Assam NRC
Image courtesy: The Wire

The chorus for an “error-free” National Register of Citizens (NRC) is growing in Assam. Now, the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has raised the demand yet again, and in fact claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government has reneged on its election time promise of ensuring the publication of a “corrected” NRC.

“Our demand is for an updated error-free NRC because there have been reports or proof of presence of illegal foreigners in the list. However, the state government has not taken any step to ensure an error-free, foreigner-free NRC,” AJP president Lurinjyoti Gogoi was quoted saying in Guwahati by The Telegraph. Gogoi was joined by AJP general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan. The AJP, an ethno-linguistically driven political group was formed on December 17, 2020.

The latest updated NRC was published on August 31, 2019 after a mammoth exercise where 3.2 crore people of Assam submitted over 6 crore documents that underwent seven layers of checks before their names were included in the NRC. Finally, 19,06,657 people were excluded from the coveted list. These include people who have either been declared foreigners by Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT), people who have been marked suspected foreigner by the Assam Border Police and people who have been marked ‘doubtful’ or D Voter by the Election Commission. Their siblings and children have also been excluded from the NRC.

However, the Assam government and other ethno-linguistic groups like the All Assam Students Union (AASU) were not happy with the NRC as they claimed names of “foreigners” had been included in the list. In fact, even before the NRC was published, they had moved one petition before the Supreme Court demanding reverification in border areas, but this was rejected the plea on July 23, 2019 saying, “We have also read and considered the response of Mr. Hazela, the learned Coordinator on this aspect of the matter and specifically, the stand taken by him in his report dated 18.7.2019, which is to the effect that in the course of consideration/adjudication of the claims, re-verification to the extent of 27% has already been done.”

Since then, the government has been working towards moving another petition and even announced this intention in the State Assembly. In May 2021, the NRC Coordinator, once again moved Supreme Court demanding a reverification of the NRC, saying that due to major irregularity many names of ineligible people had made it to the list, and that there was absence of backend verification of electoral rolls and the process of Office and Field Verifications being used to check applications was unable to detect “manipulated or manufactured secondary documents”. Fresh allegations about flaws in the NRC made in this application moved before the Supreme Court, may be read here.

Readers would recall that the original case that led to the Supreme Court monitored NRC update process was filed by a group called Assam Public Works (APW). Now, APW president Aabhijeet Sharma has also mentioned the reverification appeal in the Supreme Court, telling The Telegraph, “The state government is only playing with words like reverification and new NRC. It calls civil society organisations when it is in trouble on sensitive issues. It should come forward and move the Supreme Court so the process gets expedited.”

Related:

AASU and Assam Gov’t agree to push for NRC reverification again
Assam FT deems Assam NRC to be final NRC
Was the entire Assam NRC process in vain?
Yet another NRC reverification plea moved before SC

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