GUWAHATI, Feb 28 - In a new twist to the National Register of Citizens (NRC) updating process, the intellectuals’ meet organised by the All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) on Saturday authorised the student body to move the Supreme Court of India with a fresh appeal if its review petition against the January 5, 2016 directive of the two-member bench of the apex court fails to evoke any positive response.
On January 5, 2016 the two-member bench of the Supreme Court had directed that the names of the family members of the ‘D’ voters cannot be included in the NRC during the current updating process of the document.
According to an AAMSU press release here, the intellectuals taking part in the meeting said in a resolution that a public interest litigation (PIL) should be filed before the Supreme Court seeking judicial intervention to ensure proper compensation to those who are harassed with court cases taking them as ‘D’ voters.
The AAMSU-organised meeting of the intellectuals demanded that no genuine Indian citizen should be deprived of the chance to get his or her name included in the NRC because of minor errors in his or her name. However, they also opposed inclusion of the name of any foreign national in the NRC.
It also urged the authorities concerned to collect primary information from states like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh whenever any applicant approaches them with birth certificates and other documents issued by the authorities of those states, for inclusion of his or her name in the NRC, instead of rejecting such applications ‘unilaterally’. For the purpose, the opinions of senior citizens and village headmen of the areas concerned should also be taken into consideration, the participants said.
The meeting also called for steps to settle the cases of the ‘D’ voters within a fixed time frame.
The meeting asked the AAMSU leadership to constitute legal aid cells centrally and at district level to help those who are involved in legal battles to prove their genuineness as Indian citizens and to overcome their ‘D’ voter tags.
It also demanded that the Border Police, which has the power to lodge complaints against any person that he or she is a ‘D’ voter or a foreign national, should be brought under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
The meeting, presided over by AAMSU president Azizur Rahman, was addressed by High Court lawyers H R A Choudhury, Nazrul Haque Mazarbhuyan and Rahman Sikdar, SR Biswas, Asish Gupta, Moinul Haque Choudhury, ex-Gauhati University teacher Abdul Mannan, among others.