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Sonowal yet to respond to AASU letter on NRC
R Dutta Choudhury
 GUWAHATI, Dec 5 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, a former president of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), is yet to respond to a letter given to him by the students’ body on the steps to be taken by the State Government to prevent inclusion of names of foreign nationals in the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The AASU sent the letter to the Chief Minister on August 27 and till date, no action has been taken on it.

In the letter, the AASU said that the State Government did not accept about 1.50 lakh verdicts of the Foreigners Tribunals, but no action was taken to re-send the cases to the Tribunals, because of which , the names of the members of such families were included in the draft of the NRC. The AASU requested the Chief Minister to take steps to re-send the cases to the Tribunals so that the names of such persons can be struck down from the NRC till final verdicts come.

The AASU said that a substantial number of cases sent to the Tribunals have not yet been registered, as a result of which, names of those persons were also included in the NRC. The Government should ensure that the cases sent to the Tribunals are registered immediately because as per the law, names of persons, against whom cases are pending before the Tribunals, cannot be included in the NRC. The AASU also pointed out that a number of cases against suspected foreigners are lying with the police in almost all the districts of the State and those were not sent to the Tribunals and names of such persons were included in the draft of the NRC.

Meanwhile, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya told The Assam Tribune that names of foreign nationals would be included in the NRC because of the failure of the State Government to take effective steps in this regard. He alleged that the Government is yet to act on the letter given to the Chief Minister. He said that the Government even did not reply to the letter.

Bhattacharya also pointed out that as per the standard operating procedure of dealing with the claims and objections, the local registrar of citizen registration can “cause or direct to cause verification of names included in the final draft any time before the publication of the final NRC.” But the State Government did not take any step in this regard. The State Government also did not direct any of its officers to file objections if required to ensure that name of any foreign national is included in the NRC, Bhattacharya alleged.

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