GUWAHATI, April 19 - The All Assam Students� Union (AASU) and 28 organizations representing different ethnic groups of Assam have demanded that those who tried to get their names included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) using false documents should be arrested immediately. At the same time, the organizations warned that the Central Government should be ready to face a �vigorous movement� if it tried to impose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 against the wishes of the indigenous people of the State.
Following the hearing by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in New Delhi on the Citizenship (Amendment ) Bill yesterday, the AASU and representatives of 16 organizations met to discuss the progress of updating the NRC and the Citizenship Bill and decided that the Bill would not be accepted at any cost.
Talking to The Assam Tribune today, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that members of the AASU and 28 organizations representing the ethnic groups of the State are keeping a close watch on the process of updating the NRC. During the process of verification of the family trees of the applicants, it is now evident that a large number of foreign nationals tried to get their names included in the NRC with false or forged documents. �We are demanding that all those who tried to get their names included in the NRC with false documents should be arrested immediately,� he added.
Bhattacharya said that most of the officers and employees engaged in the process are working sincerely and that is why a large number of false documents could be detected. But a small number of officers have failed to show due sincerity and one such person has already been suspended. He said that if any officer or employee of the Government fails to show the requisite sincerity, action should be taken against him or her. The AASU and 28 organizations are also of the view that the public representatives should also keep a close watch on the process of updating the NRC in their respective areas so that all the officers and employees engaged in the process get the encouragement. The NRC updating process could be expedited only because of close monitoring of the Supreme Court and the State and Central Governments should also play their parts to ensure that an NRC free from names of foreign nationals is prepared, he added.
Members of the AASU and 28 organizations are scheduled to meet the NRC coordinator in a day or two to review the progress. The Supreme Court will monitor the progress in the next hearing on May 8.
On the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the AASU and 28 organizations made it clear that the imposition of the Bill against the wishes of the indigenous people of the State would never be accepted and the organizations are bracing up to launch a joint movement if required. Bhattacharya said that the JPC should take the views of all the ethnic groups of the State as well as of the literary organizations including Asam Sahitya Sabha, Bodo Sahitya Sabha etc and of the prominent citizens. The JPC should also visit Assam for on the spot study of the situation and take the views of the North East Students� Organization and other prominent organizations of the region. So far, the JPC has not invited all the organizations and prominent citizens who are opposing the Bill and the Committee should not formulate its opinion without knowing the true feelings of the indigenous people, he added.