Staff Reporter GUWAHATI, Aug 7 - Expressing concern at the exclusion of lakhs of genuine Indian citizens from the final draft of the NRC, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) today asked the State government and the NRC authorities to take effective steps to remove all the discrepancies in the NRC.
Deben Bhattacharyya addressing the media. – UB Photos
The party has also submitted a number of suggestions for the standard operating procedure (SOP) on NRC to be laid down before the Supreme Court by the Union government.
Addressing the media here, CPI (M) Assam State Committee general secretary Deben Bhattacharyya said that amid an uproar over the NRC issue at the national and international levels, certain factors must be taken into consideration with a logical approach, so that genuine citizens are not left out in the process.
“A sizeable number of the people left out in the process are women and children. Also, linguistic and religious minorities are among the people who could not find their names in either of the drafts. Such factors might help opportunist and unscrupulous elements to fuel tension in society,” he added.
“Women submitting panchayat certificate as a linkage document, poor and illiterate and marginalised people and their children who do not have valid documents to prove their legacy, orphans, those displaced by flood and erosion are among the genuine citizens who did not make it to the final draft. Surprisingly, there are many families with half of their members included in NRC and others left out despite submitting the same documents. Since July 30, a number of cases have surfaced that clearly point towards the anomalous document verification process, Bhattacharyya added.
The party also suggested that migration certificates issued before 1971 should be accepted as valid documents. It further added that a different approach should be adopted in case of people who lost their documents in ethnic clashes, fire incidents, floods and erosion and other such calamities or did not procure or produce any documents due to illiteracy or ignorance.
“On-spot verification, inquiry by competent administrative officer of the particular area, DNA tests may also be conducted to ascertain the citizenship of the applicants. If required, the timeframe might be extended so that the citizens are not harassed,” the party leader added.
Referring to the issue of right to citizenship by birth, the party stated that the Supreme Court must give a directive on whether the citizenship rights by birth would be applicable for inclusion in the NRC as per the Citizenship Act 1955.