Prominent citizens file petition in SC seeking re-checking papers of those excluded from Assam NRC

Written by CJP | Published on: September 26, 2018
On Tuesday, September 25, around 50 prominent activists and academics filed a petition with the Supreme Court, seeking the Court’s intervention in the ongoing process regarding the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, Muslim Mirror reported. The petitioners are seeking that the court direct the re-checking of documents of the four million people excluded from the latest NRC draft before Standard Operating Procedure is initiated.

NRC

Signatories to the petition include former Lucknow University vice chancellor Roop Rekha Verma, Professor Irfan Habib, convenor of Sadbhav Mission Professor V. K. Tripathi, and former MP Mohammad Adeeb, among others.

Speaking to Muslim Mirror, Tripathi said that the petition is seeking the SC’s intervention because most of those excluded from the NRC draft are impoverished, and members of the working class. Tripathi said that he recently traveled to Assam, and discovered that those excluded belonged to all "communities – 40-50% Muslims, 40-50% Bengali Hindus, 5-10% others". Tripathi noted that the NRC has dispelled the long-held myth regarding "massive Bangladeshi infiltration," since 88% of the people have been included in the NRC draft in the two rounds.

Tripathi criticised the BJP-led central government and Assam government, and said that the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, which grants refugee status to just non-Muslim illegal migrants from neighbouring countries, indicates the central government’s prejudice. He said that this "has been reinforced by the rhetoric by the highest leaders of the ruling party at the Center as well as in Assam," Muslim Mirror reported.

Tripathi told Muslim Mirror that several suggestions have been submitted to Justice Ranjan Gogoi’s Bench. These include the suggestion that an affidavit should be enough to include those family members who have been excluded, while their relatives have been included in the the NRC. Another suggestion is that the NRC should make public the details of those excluded on the basis of community, gender, and the reason for their exclusion to combat the myth of detecting Bangladeshi infiltrators. One suggestion also notes that those working in India for ten years merit Indian citizenship, and calls for new government rules regarding this.