SC lawyer’s poll plunge for NRC review

Last Updated 12 March 2019, 17:31 IST

As the NRC is set to figure prominently in campaigns for 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam by both the ruling BJP and the Opposition Congress, a Supreme Court lawyer has decided to contest the election seeking re-verification of the entire exercise.

The senior advocate of Supreme court, who heads Prabajan Virodhi Manch, Upamanyu Hazarika has decided to contest for Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency as an Independent candidate. Hazarika, who has been demanding laws for reserving land rights and government jobs in Assam to the children of pre-1951 residents only, says re-verification of the NRC was must for preventing illegal migrants from becoming Indian citizens.

“The present government (BJP) or all other established political parties are only interested in vote bank politics and not interested to safeguard the identity of the indigenous people of the state. So I have decided to contest elections to become an independent and effective voice in Parliament,” Hazarika said.

The NRC is being updated only in Assam under the supervision of the Supreme Court with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date. This means those submitting documents to prove that they or their forefathers lived in Assam till March 24, 1971, would be included in the updated NRC and those failing to do so would be declared foreigners for deportation to Bangladesh.

More than 40.07 lakh people of the total 3.29 crore applicants failed to make it to the draft of the updated NRC, which was released in June 30 last year. The final NRC is likely to be released by July 30 this year.

“The Supreme court on August 28, 2018, also called for re-verification of at least 10% applications of the NRC. But political parties seems not interested. They are neither interested to delete the names of the foreigners nor willing to protect the identity of the indigenous people. More than 60 lakh illegal migrants will make it to the NRC and become Indian citizens if the NRC exercise is not reverified,” he said.

Hazarika said his campaign would focus against NDA’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, that sought to allow minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who had taken shelter in India due to “religious persecution” till December 2014, to apply for citizenship after a stay of six years. Indigenous people fear they would become minorities if such post-1971 migrants are given citizenship.

(Published 12 March 2019, 14:29 IST)

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