GUWAHATI, Aug 24 - The All Assam Students� Union (AASU) today demanded that the Government should immediately make the proposed Foreigners� Tribunals operational. The students� body also said that the State Government should make public the road map on the steps to be taken on the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was published last year.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya pointed out that the Government initially proposed to set up 1,000 new Foreigners� Tribunals in phased manner and following discussion between the State and Central Governments and the State Coordinator of the NRC, it was decided that 200 Tribunals would be set up in the first phase.
Bhattacharya pointed out that the Government appointed members for the proposed Tribunals and 1600 youths were selected to be appointed in the new Tribunals. But till date, the new Tribunals have not been made operational and those selected for appointment in the same have not been appointed. He said that the Government should make the appointments immediately and the Tribunals should be made functional.
The original idea of creation of the new Tribunals was that it would deal with the cases of those whose applications for inclusion of names in the NRC were rejected. The persons, whose names were not included in the NRC can approach the Tribunals after receiving the rejection slip from the NRC authorities with detail reasons for rejection of their applications. As the process of issuing the rejection slips has not started, the Government has not made the new Tribunals operational.
Bhattacharya said that till the NRC authorities start issuing rejection slips, the Government can reduce the burden of the existing Tribunals by transferring the existing cases to the new ones. He said that lakhs of cases are pending in the existing Tribunals and the Government can expedite the process of disposal of the cases by transferring some cases to the new ones. He also said that the border police wing of the Assam Police should be activated to detect foreigners so that cases can be referred to the Tribunals. He further pointed out that of the 19 lakh people, whose names were not included in the NRC, four lakh did not file claims during the process of submission of claims and objections and cases can be registered against those people in the Tribunals by the Government.
The AASU chief adviser further said that the Government has not yet made any announcement on the fate of the NRC and it should declare a road map soon. If necessary, the Government can also seek direction from the Supreme Court as the process of updating the NRC was monitored by the Apex Court.
Bhattacharya also said that the State Government should make public the number of foreigners detected by the Government machinery in the last four years as one of the main poll plank of the BJP-led Government was detection and deportation of foreigners.