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Operationalise additional 1,000 FTs: Cong to govt


GUWAHATI, Sept 1 - Opposition Congress today called upon the government to operationalise the additional new 1,000 Foreigners� Tribunals (FT) at the earliest and to ensure that the 19.06 lakh people who have been excluded from the final NRC are not left in the lurch indefinitely.

Addressing the media here today, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and opposition leader in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia accused the BJP of trying to keep alive the foreigners' issue for the sake of political gains.

�The main thing now is to have clarity concerning the fate of the 19.06 lakh people who have been left out of the final NRC. The government has given sanction to set up 1,000 additional FTs. The existing number of FTs is not enough to deal with cases related to such a huge number of people. Approaching the FTs is the next step for them. So, the government should take steps to operationalise all the 1,000 FTs at the earliest so that all the cases can be dealt with within stipulated time,� said Bora.

There are at present 100 FTs. The government plans to operationalise the additional 1,000 FTs in phases to deal with the cases related to those persons who have been excluded from the final NRC.

As part of it, 200 new FTs are going to start operation from October 1.

He added that people are still clueless regarding the reasons for their exclusion from the NRC and the process to be followed for approaching the FTs to take forward their cases. He expressed concern that common people are likely to face a lot of harassment on account of that and called upon the government to provide clarification in this regard.

The State Congress chief said lots of errors have been noticed in the register, which was published yesterday.

He said there are numerous examples where some members of the same family have been included in the NRC, while others have been left out. Bora said many Gorkhas, Bengali Hindus, Tea community people and indigenous tribal people have failed to get themselves included in the NRC.

�There are examples where all members of a family using the same legacy data are in the NRC, barring one or two who have been left out,� Bora said.

He reiterated that Congress will extend legal assistance to genuine Indian citizens who have been excluded from the NRC. The party has appointed two in-charges in every district for this purpose.

Bora called upon Union Home Minister Amit Shah to issue an apology for calling the 40 lakh people who had been left out in the draft NRC as �intruders�, given the figures that have come out in the final register.

He also accused the BJP leaders of speaking in divergent voices concerning the NRC.

�The Chief Minister says one thing. Himanta Biswa Sarma says another thing and the State BJP president makes a different comment. This shows that the BJP was never serious about the NRC. BJP wants to keep the issue of foreigners alive,� said the APCC chief.

Speaking on the occasion, Gogoi said while the BJP wants to take credit for the NRC at the national level, the leaders of the ruling party in Assam have virtually discarded the document.

He called upon Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to express his views on the issue and said Shah should also speak up.

Gogoi accused Sarma of making controversial comments on the NRC.

Pointing out that many people whose names figure in the voters� list have been excluded from the NRC, he called upon the government to issue a clarification on the issue.

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