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NRC Update: Poor people in Assam travel 500 Kms within 1 day to prove their citizenship

Image courtesy: Inside NE

TCN News

As many as 2900 poor people from different villages in Boko assembly constituency of Kamrup district were sent notices in the evening of 3rd August from the NRC (National Register of Citizens) summoning them to far off places.  And the time given to them to appear at the Seva Kendra was 2 days.

And since the notice was too short, the poor villagers, not having enough money to travel so far, had to sell off their livestock, mortgage their ancestral lands and the women had to part with their jewellery.   Many had to spend their hard-earned money by working as daily wage labourers.

The villagers eager to prove their citizenship all went together boarding 25 buses to the Seva Kendra in Upper Assam covering the long-distance and bearing inconvenience. Some had infants and small children with them, while some were senior citizens.

A bus from suntoli village of Hajo met with an accident in which 24 persons including 2 small children, seriously injured were hospitalised and could not make it to the hearing.

Congress MLA Rekibuddin Ahmed criticized the BJP government for harassing the people like this in the name of NRC. The officials had given such a short notice to the people for the hearing and the people in their hurry and panic are not fighting for their life.

One senior lady, Rejia Khatun, 68 years, from Boko, who had gone for the NRC hearing, died yesterday due to the extreme weather conditions and heat.

Rejia Khatun, 68 years, from Boko who died due to the intense heat

Earlier, when the draft list was announced, some people had committed suicide. And many others committed suicide as they did not have sufficient documents demanded by the NRC. They feared being sent to the detention camps and preferred to die.

Even an ex-army veteran has been declared as a foreigner by the NRC while a Central Industrial Security Force (CSIF) jawan has been declared as a D voter(doubtful voter).

The Assam government is not satisfied with the NRC exercise and keep demanding different documents. Many have been declared as D voters despite having all the relevant documents and living in Assam since birth on their ancestral lands.

Advocate 0f Gauhati high court, Haamim kutub javed Ahmed, told TwoCircles.net, “The Supreme Court in its Order Dated 10.04.2019 observed that, “we request the learned State Coordinator to ensure that at the time of hearing of the claims, steps should be taken to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the persons required to attend the hearing and to see that they are not required to travel long distances, if possible.”
Going by this order, state Coordinator Prateek Hajela needs to take the test as to why notices were being sent to the 2900 persons.”

” But State Coordinator Prateek Hajela seems to have flouted all norms”, he added.

The deadline for the final NRC list was 31 st July and now it has been extended to 31st August. And the people whose names have been excluded are living in perpetual fear.