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

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.