BARPETA, July 22 � In sharp contrast to the statement of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, Dr Bhumidhar Barman, State Minister of Revenue, Rehabilitation and Assam Accord Implementation, said in Barpeta today that the State Government has no right to take any decision on the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Presiding over a meeting of the senior citizens, representatives of several organisations and top officials of the district, Dr Barman said that what the government thinks is suspension of the process only for a few days until the misunderstanding about it is over. He reiterated the commitment of the government to complete the pilot project and informed that the normalisation of the situation will go alongside the process of updation of the NRC.
Reacting sharply to reports of communal violence following yesterday�s incident, he ruled out such apprehensions. The senior minister also said that the deceased and the injured would be compensated as per rule of the government. He requested all concerned parties to maintain peace and harmony in the greater interest of the State.
Addressing the meeting, Pradip Das, vice-president of the AASU, who along with Hemanta Deuri represented the organisation spearheading anti-foreigner movement, said that one who tries to obstruct the process of preparation of the NRC cannot be a genuine Indian citizen at all. He tried to allay the fears of the minority community by reiterating that no one coming to India before the cut-off date March 25, 1971 need to fear as the 1971 electoral roll would also work as an evidence to enter the names in the NRC. He urged upon the AAMSU to cooperate in the process. Das requested the State government to make available the copies of the NRC, 1951 in all the places of Assam as it is required to be seen for a linkage for the married women or migrated persons. He also requested the government not to bow down to any antisocial or foreign pressure and continue the NRC updating process as usual.
The Asom Gana Parishad represented by Gunindra Nath Das, district president and MLA of Barpeta and Liakat Ali Khan MLA of Chenga, squarely blamed the administration for its failure to anticipate the intensity and check violence. Mukul Das, another AGP leader and chairman of the Barpeta Municipality Board, suggested that the administration should invite bothn AASU and AAMSU to talk and involve them in the NRC updation process, which was even appreciated by the ministers.
Dr Barman was accompanied by Nazrul Islam, Minister of Food and Civil Supplies. JSL Basava, Lower Assam Commissioner and some senior police officers also visited Barpeta to take stock of the situation.