|President’s intervention on ‘D’ voters sought|
SILCHAR, Aug 18 - Expressing concerns over the growing fear among the people on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update process, Silchar MP Susmita Dev met President Pranab Mukherjee seeking his intervention to take up the issue on humanitarian grounds and impress the same upon the government.
Highlighting the issue of infiltration in the State in her letter to the President, Susmita said that the process has been a burning issue since the creation of Bangladesh and since then the practice of detection and deportation has been a contentious matter which has witnessed the movements in 1979 and many deaths in 1983. She emphasized on the fact that despite a thorough revision of the electoral rolls from 1985 to 1997, citizenship in Assam remains a major concern.
Urging the President to look into the issue, Susmita appealed for suspension of the process of identifying foreigners as ‘doubtful voters’ on mere suspicion till the process of upgrading the National Register of Citizens is completed. She added to say that the IM(DT) Act of 1983 gave benefit of doubt to an alleged foreigner was also declared unconstitutional in 2005 after a petition filed by Sarbananda Sonowal. “I am pained to say that the primary victims of detection and deportation are the Bengali-speaking people,” stated Susmita.
Further, she said that the legitimate deletion of names from the NRC will lead to a huge humanitarian crisis unless the governments of India and Bangladesh have a proper laid down procedure for the deportation of illegal immigrants. Taking a dig at the BJP on giving citizenship to the Bengali Hindus, Susmita said, “The party President Amit Shah had said that his party is committed to give citizenship to the Hindu Bengalis and other minorities. Other leaders are in favour of giving them ’refugee’ status and giving them permanent visas. But the refugee status will mean that a citizen is not an Indian and he will not enjoy the rights of a normal Indian citizen. All the minorities coming to India should be deemed citizen by the government instead of giving them status of refugees or permanent visas after having lived in Assam for decades. She has appealed to the President to seek a report from the Union Home Ministry on their reported plan for the Bengali Hindus and other minorities who have come to India from Bangladesh.