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Himanta seeks SC rulings on NRC update
Kalyan Barooah
 NEW DELHI, July 10 - In a new twist to the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) case being heard in the Supreme Court, Himanta Biswa Sarma has filed an intervention petition seeking a number of rulings, including a direction to issue NRC to voters who have migrated to Assam from other parts of the country.

The petition filed by Sarma in the Apex Court on Thursday seeking its permission to file his counter affidavit, is coming up for hearing soon. The Apex Court is hearing a case originally filed by Assam Public Works, which was later joined by All Assam Students’ Union and others.

The estranged Congress leader’s affidavit is going to raise lots of eyebrows, as he has mentioned in his affidavits that he is raising a few issues that have escaped the notice of the State Government and the Centre.

Sarma has sought to establish his locus standi by citing his long association with implementation of the Assam Accord, including as State Minister for Implementation of Assam Accord, among other reasons.

The petition, a copy of which is with this newspaper, has pleaded for a direction to the respondents to issue NRC to the Indian citizen who have come and settled in Assam from other parts of the country post-1971, and who have no legacy data in Assam, but their names were figuring in the voter list of their respective States at the relevant point of time.

Sarma has also sought a direction to declare Schedule Tribes (both plains and hills), OBC and SC as the original inhabitants in terms of clause-(g) of the modalities for update of the NRC in Assam for the purpose of inclusion of the names of members of these communities in the NRC.

The Congress MLA has also called for a direction for inclusion of the names in the NRC of the minor children, who are unable to produce their linkage certificate such as birth certificates and schooling certificates although their parents are Indian citizens and whose names are included in the voters list prepared by the Election Commission of India.

According to the affidavit filed by the State Coordinator, the issue for inclusion of this category of people was taken up with the Registrar General of India vide its letter dated February 21, 2015 and it has reportedly been referred to the Union Law Ministry, and the opinion of the Law Ministry is still awaited, he said.

Another important issue concerning a large section of the original inhabitants of the State, like Scheduled Tribes (both Hills and Plains), OBC, including tea tribes, Koch Rajbongshis, Ahom, Matak, Chutiya, Moran, Scheduled Castes, among others, most of whom have not maintained their legacy data on account of poverty, social backwardness and due to natural calamities like flood and erosion.

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