NEW DELHI, June 23 - In yet another attempt at discrediting the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) update exercise, the Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) today alleged that “over 30 lakh names” will face deletion in Assam.
While releasing a ground report on ‘Doubtful Voters and Plight of Indian Citizens in Assam’ at the Press Club of India here this afternoon, the student organisation claimed that an SIO team studied the issue and prepared a report along with a documentary film.
However, when asked about the sources of their information, SIO national secretary Syed Azharuddin was vague in his reply and could not substantiate any of the allegations they made. Later, following intense questioning by newsmen, they withdrew the figure of 30 lakh, saying that an unnamed advocate in Assam passed the information.
That the SIO did little research became obvious, when it alleged that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was the AASU president at the time of the Nellie massacre in 1983.
“The ongoing NRC panic can be seen as the preparatory step for an imminent riot or rather homicide of the Muslims in the State. The increased military presence in the State in the last couple of months and hijacking of Muslims’ shops in Silchar and eviction of families from colonies justify the concern,” the SIO alleged.
Maintaining that qualified people were not manning the Foreigners Tribunals, the student organisation alleged that lack of legal knowledge and illiteracy are also reasons for the alarming number of doubtful citizens, they said.
The SIO demanded that the NRC must be prepared by taking into confidence all citizens, irrespective of their identities. “An error-free NRC is the need of the hour,” they said, alleging that time given for processing is also not enough.
“Transparency in the system is invisible at various stages in the implementation level. The officials, ranging from police officers to the judges at the Foreigners Tribunals act biasedly. There are many examples of Muslim voters being declared as foreigners even after producing documents,” the SIO alleged.
It also came down heavily on the Muslim organisations and political parties in Assam, alleging that they have not taken up the issue with due importance. “This has created serious concern among the minority communities who are living in the fear of deportation,” the SIO said.