Skip to main content

Govt order to "declare" 20 lakh Assamese foreigners: blogger; it's conspiracy to brand 1.9 crore illegal citizens: CJP

An NRC office in Assam
By Our Representative
Will a whopping 20 lakh Assamese be declared foreigners? In a significant blog, senior Guwahati lawyer Aman Wadud, referring to the May 2, 2018 order of the State Coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) – signed by Prateek Haleja, IAS, in charge of home and political department, and state coordinator of NRC – has apprehended that stage has been already prepared exactly for this.
The order, sent to officials looking after the job of scrutinizing citizenship across all the state’s districts, citing an year-old judgment of the Guwahati High Court, insists on the need to “make references” of not just those who had entered Assam after the cutoff date, March 25, 1971, but also their siblings, i.e. “such persons, namely, brothers, sisters and other family members”, wanting their citizenship should also be kept “pending.”
Suggesting that the order contradicts the provision of the Citizenship Act, 1955 and other Rules, Wadud says, Sec 3 (1)(a) of the Act “states that every person born in India on or after January 26, 1950, but before July 1, 1987 shall be a citizen of India by birth.”
Based on this, Wadud argues, “Now even if a person is declared as ‘foreigner’, his siblings might have born in India before July 1, 1987, which makes them a citizen of India by birth.”
According to Wadud, “There are many cases where one member of a family is declared as ‘foreigner’ and the same tribunal has declared their siblings as Indian citizens. So keeping the names of siblings of so-called foreigners pending in NRC is illegal and contradictory to relevant statutes.”
Wadud argues, so far, there are around 80,000 persons who have been declared “foreigners”.
“Let’s assume, on an average a so-called foreigner has four siblings. That makes a total of 3.2 lakh siblings. Along with the declared ‘foreigners’, this makes up a total of four lakh people.”
“The family members of these four lakh people will include their children and grandchildren. On an average at least six family members of each person (considering higher fertility rate among poor and illiterate people who have been declared foreigners) thus it makes over two million people!”
Contradicting the NRC order, Wadud says, the Guwahati High Court, its order vide order dated May 2, 2017, only asked “the jurisdictional Superintendent of Police (B) to enquire into the status of the brothers, sisters and other family members of the declared foreigners and, thereafter, to make a reference to the competent Foreigners’ Tribunal.”
But, says Wadud, the tribunal order dated May 2, 2018 “equates the siblings and family members of declared ‘foreigners’ with D-voters aka Doubtful Voters”, a term coined by the Election Commission of India in 1997 to identify “any voter whose citizenship documents appeared to be inadequate”.
Meanwhile, a human rights organization, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), has in an online petition has apprehended that the whole game is “one of a conspiracy of ‘othering’ and exclusion.” Asking people to sign the petition, which is to be sent to the Supreme Court of India, says that, in all,”3.29 crore people from 68.27 lakh families in Assam have submitted over 6.5 crore documents with the NRC to prove their Indian citizenship.”
CJP underscores, “But the NRC recently published a list of only 1.9 crore as legal citizens. A huge number of 1.39 crore Assamese, almost all Muslim, are under threat of having their legitimate citizenship revoked.”
It continues, “Imagine your citizenship being revoked. You find yourself suddenly stateless, without not just a home but also the right to call a country your home. You are condemned to soul-crushing poverty, you cannot earn a livelihood, cannot send your children to school!”, insisting, “Proof of citizenship is just a “tool of exclusion.”

Comments

PRATEEK HAJELA, IAS, STATE COORDINATOR, NRC, ASSAM said…
NRC update in the state of Assam was ordered by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in their orders issued in 2013. Since then, the process is being closely monitored by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India. NRC update is a legal process carried out in accordance with the provisions of The Citizenship Act, 1955 and The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 with cut-off date of 24th March, 1971 decided as per Assam Accord. NRC update provides for an exhaustive, objective and transparent system of verification which gives adequate opportunity to each applicant to prove his/her eligibility for inclusion in NRC. It is worth mentioning that during the period of last 3-4 months, approximately one crore people have appeared before different verifying authorities, wherein they have been given fair opportunity to project their cases. This also proves that the public have actively participated and cooperated with the verification process. Compilation of verification results has still not completed. As such, figures of rejection projected by various persons, organisations, media etc are totally speculative in nature. The NRC authorities are absolutely confident of producing an accurate NRC that ensures inclusion of all genuine Indian citizens and exclusion of all ineligible persons.

TRENDING

India failing to dictate diplomatic preferences of Nepal, Bhutan, is unfairly blaming Beijing: Chinese daily

By Our Representative
In a sharply-worded editorial, a top Chinese media outfit, described by BBC as state-run, has said, commenting on India's foreign relations with its neighbours, that "speculation and suspicion" is "certainly not diplomacy". Published in "China Daily", the largest circulating English Monday-to-Saturday newspaper with branches across the world, the editorial notes (September 20) that "several recent events" in Nepal and Bhutan, are "gnawing worrywarts in New Delhi".
The editorial -- which comes close on the heels of a sharp critique of India's foreign policy in a state-supported Russian media outfit, Sputnik International, calling India's anti-Pak diplomacy as having "gone awry" following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "half-baked" push for anti-terror drill down "others' throat" -- says, the " worrywarts" include "Nepalese troops taking part in a joint…

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

17 lakh Jharkhand elderly, widows, differently abled do not receive pension: Public hearing told, aadhaar is a hurdle

By Our Representative
Hundreds of elderly, widows, single women and differently-abled persons from different districts of Jharkhand gathered near the Raj Bhavan in Ranchi for a public hearing organized by the Jharkhand Right to Food Campaign and Pension Parishad demanding the right to universal social security pensions ahead of World Elderly Day on October 1.

Ethnocide in Caribbean island filmed following award winning docufilm on Jamaica's anti-colonial Indian roots

International awards winner for Best Feature Documentary Linda Aïnouche for “Dreadlocks Story” (2014), which shows how Indians are entangled in the Jamaican society, and how Hinduism was a source of inspiration for the Rastafari movement, is all set to release her new documentary, “Marooned in the Caribbean”, which aims at documenting the awful desolating living conditions that Raizal people, the native inhabitants of San Andres Archipelago, endure.
Sons of slaves, these islanders have fallen prey to what the Colombian government calls Colombianization. “It’s a process”, according to her, “which kills the Raizal culture; it’s the killing of the Raizal soul. Colombianization subjugates Afro-descendants of San Andres to an ethnocide.”

Explorer, director and producer, Linda Aïnouche writes exclusively for Counterview: ***
Nobody escapes from blood and thunder in Colombia, and definitely not in the archipelago of San Andres, situated closer to Managua and Kingston than Bogota. The Raizal p…

India to deport Rohingya refugees, as the world moves towards prosecuting Myanmar for genocide

By Tapan Bose*
Seven Rohingya Muslims refugees who were held at a detention centre in Assam since 2012 will be handed over to Myanmar. The Supreme Court of India has refused to stop their deportation. The new Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gagoi said, "We are not inclined to interfere on the decision taken".

An elite Kutir set up by Modi far from the "madding" crowd: This Gandhi museum is formal, unapproachable

By Rajiv Shah
Have you ever heard of a Gandhi museum, sough to be projected as the “largest” on the Mahatma, yet totally inaccessible, in sharp contrast to Ahmedabad’s humble, approachable and unassuming Gandhi Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati, set up by the Mahatma during the heydays of the freedom movement? It exists about 30 kilometres away, its idea was conceived by none other than a person who has today become even more inaccessible than he ever was: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister.

Accused of being RSS plant, Modi man, Hyderabad Urdu varsity chancellor asks President to probe "irregularities"

Counterview Desk
Refused entry in the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), the central university's newly appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed, who claims to be grand nephew of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, has, in a letter to the President of India, said that MANUU vice-chancellor (V-C) Dr Aslam Parvaiz has accused him of being an RSS plant and a Modi man, whose sole aim is to "interfere in the working of the university".

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

History less known: Kasturba's role as an independent woman and a freedom fighter in her own right

By Nandini Oza*
Even the most deserving of women do not find a place that equals their worth in history. Kasturba is one such woman whose contribution to India’s struggle for freedom has been exemplary, and yet, it has not received the recognition it deserves. Kastur Makhanji Kapadia was born in the year 1869, the same year and in the same town of Porbandar in Gujarat as Gandhiji. In fact she was older than Gandhiji by a few months.