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Left demands strict provisions in standard operating procedure

By PRANJAL BHUYAN
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GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - The Left parties want some strict provisions in the standard operating procedure (SOP) for claims and objections for NRC to ensure that the State governments across the country cooperate with the verification process.

The Centre is expected to submit to the Supreme Court soon next week the SOP for claims and objections.

Speaking to The Assam Tribune today, Munin Mahanta, Assam State unit secretary of the Communist Party of India, said that strict directions must be issued to various State governments to respond to the verification of documents sent to them by the NRC authority.

�Many States have not cooperated leading to lakhs of genuine Indian citizens being excluded from the draft NRC. States should be ordered to cooperate with the process,� said Mahanta.

CPI also wants some clarity on the issue of �D� voters before the final NRC is published. �It would be an injustice to do otherwise. The decision of eligibility of almost 2.5 lakh �D� voters and their descendants, and persons whose references are pending at Foreigners� Tribunal (FTs) and their descendants have been kept on hold in the draft NRC. There should be clarity on the �D� voters issue before the final NRC is out,� he said.

The Left party alleged that some local NRC officials have adopted discriminatory attitude, including with regard to accepting panchayat certificates, for the verification process.

�Many such instances have come to light where people have faced unnecessary harassment. The SOP must lay some clear guidelines to ensure that such things do not happen during the claims and objections process. Any instance of discriminatory attitude by NRC staff must be dealt with sternly. There should be provision for that,� said the Left leader.

The party has, however, opposed any special consideration for people belonging to any community for enrolment in NRC. �Such a step would be discriminatory. The rules must be same for everybody,� Mahanta said.

It is noteworthy that the ruling BJP had called for some sort of �special mechanism� to make sure that people belonging to the indigenous communities and those who originally hailing from other States within India but whose names are missing from the draft NRC are not deprived during the publication of the final updated Register.

BJP sources had said that names of many persons from the Hindi-speaking segment as well as some belonging to the Koch Rajbongshi, Hajong and Rabha and other indigenous communities are not in the draft NRC and sought �special consideration� for them by asserting that there is no doubt regarding the citizenship of such individuals.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said many names got excluded from the draft NRC as most of the State governments in the country did not respond to the verification process.

�Suitable measures should be taken to complete the verification process as States did not respond,� Suprakash Talukdar, central committee member of CPI (M), told this newspaper.

CPI (M) believes that as the NRC and the proceedings of FTs are both legal processes, the latter should be kept on hold for the time being. �The proceedings of the FTs should be kept on hold till the NRC is finalised. The names found eligible for inclusion in the NRC should be included. Excluded names may be sent to the FTs after the NRC process is over,� Talukdar said.

CPI (M) has sent a detailed list of its suggestions regarding the SOP for claims and objections for the NRC to the Centre.

Talukdar said that the method of DNA test should be taken up to test the linkage with the legacy holder or with his or her family as a last resort, and after exhausting all other measures, for the NRC.

�The cost of such DNA test should be borne by the government.

The Supreme Court should also clarify whether other provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955, would be applicable or not in preparing the NRC,� he said.

Talukdar said CPI (M) wants the family tree mechanism to be applied in cases where panchayat certificates issued to married women for establishing linkage with their parents were rejected due to lack of required register and with regard to cases of children of under privileged sections who do not have any document to establish linkage with their parents.

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Left demands strict provisions in standard operating procedure

GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - The Left parties want some strict provisions in the standard operating procedure (SOP) for claims and objections for NRC to ensure that the State governments across the country cooperate with the verification process.

The Centre is expected to submit to the Supreme Court soon next week the SOP for claims and objections.

Speaking to The Assam Tribune today, Munin Mahanta, Assam State unit secretary of the Communist Party of India, said that strict directions must be issued to various State governments to respond to the verification of documents sent to them by the NRC authority.

�Many States have not cooperated leading to lakhs of genuine Indian citizens being excluded from the draft NRC. States should be ordered to cooperate with the process,� said Mahanta.

CPI also wants some clarity on the issue of �D� voters before the final NRC is published. �It would be an injustice to do otherwise. The decision of eligibility of almost 2.5 lakh �D� voters and their descendants, and persons whose references are pending at Foreigners� Tribunal (FTs) and their descendants have been kept on hold in the draft NRC. There should be clarity on the �D� voters issue before the final NRC is out,� he said.

The Left party alleged that some local NRC officials have adopted discriminatory attitude, including with regard to accepting panchayat certificates, for the verification process.

�Many such instances have come to light where people have faced unnecessary harassment. The SOP must lay some clear guidelines to ensure that such things do not happen during the claims and objections process. Any instance of discriminatory attitude by NRC staff must be dealt with sternly. There should be provision for that,� said the Left leader.

The party has, however, opposed any special consideration for people belonging to any community for enrolment in NRC. �Such a step would be discriminatory. The rules must be same for everybody,� Mahanta said.

It is noteworthy that the ruling BJP had called for some sort of �special mechanism� to make sure that people belonging to the indigenous communities and those who originally hailing from other States within India but whose names are missing from the draft NRC are not deprived during the publication of the final updated Register.

BJP sources had said that names of many persons from the Hindi-speaking segment as well as some belonging to the Koch Rajbongshi, Hajong and Rabha and other indigenous communities are not in the draft NRC and sought �special consideration� for them by asserting that there is no doubt regarding the citizenship of such individuals.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said many names got excluded from the draft NRC as most of the State governments in the country did not respond to the verification process.

�Suitable measures should be taken to complete the verification process as States did not respond,� Suprakash Talukdar, central committee member of CPI (M), told this newspaper.

CPI (M) believes that as the NRC and the proceedings of FTs are both legal processes, the latter should be kept on hold for the time being. �The proceedings of the FTs should be kept on hold till the NRC is finalised. The names found eligible for inclusion in the NRC should be included. Excluded names may be sent to the FTs after the NRC process is over,� Talukdar said.

CPI (M) has sent a detailed list of its suggestions regarding the SOP for claims and objections for the NRC to the Centre.

Talukdar said that the method of DNA test should be taken up to test the linkage with the legacy holder or with his or her family as a last resort, and after exhausting all other measures, for the NRC.

�The cost of such DNA test should be borne by the government.

The Supreme Court should also clarify whether other provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955, would be applicable or not in preparing the NRC,� he said.

Talukdar said CPI (M) wants the family tree mechanism to be applied in cases where panchayat certificates issued to married women for establishing linkage with their parents were rejected due to lack of required register and with regard to cases of children of under privileged sections who do not have any document to establish linkage with their parents.

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