GUWAHATI, Sept 24 - Total rejection of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on August 31, 2019 for any reason will only perpetuate uncertainty and more complications in the future concerning the issue of illegal migrants. The real victims of such a situation will be the indigenous communities of the State, said the Forum Against the Citizenship Act Amendment Bill (FACAAB) in a statement here on Monday.
The Forum, headed by noted critic and scholar Dr Hiren Gohain as its chairman, said in a statement that despite various complaints of anomalies against the NRC, the records prepared and digitally preserved during the process of its updating, have created a valuable base for identifying illegal migrants in Assam and these documents can be upgraded in future by means of a transparent and unbiased procedure.
It needs to be stated that the indigenous communities of Assam are not only losing land and livelihood but their socio-political space is also under constant pressure from the illegal migrants. While defending some people�s rights, the original inhabitants� birthright can�t be jettisoned, said the Forum.
The Forum statement came in reaction to the �Interim Jury Report� published by a nascent �Assam Tribunal on NRC� in its Delhi sitting recently. The 'Interim Jury Report� of the said Tribunal pronounced, among others, that the 'NRC has spawned a humanitarian crisis without any sign of abatement. The Tribunal consists of three former judges, two from the Supreme Court of India and the other a former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court. Besides, some other intellectuals were also there in the said Tribunal, mostly from outside Assam.
The Forum said that the Tribunal held its hearing at Delhi calling �interested witnesses selectively, instead of holding its hearing at some of the places in Assam� for reasons best known to its organisers. �Had they come to Assam and heard the views of the native people, they would have become aware of the vital issues they have overlooked�, said the Forum.
�The NRC has many stakeholders and the said Tribunal should have heard representatives of all such stakeholders, preferably somewhere in Assam. It needs no reiteration that at all stages during the preparation of the NRC, the Supreme Court closely supervised it. The procedure adopted was accepted by all concerned, including the political parties as well as the youth and student organisations of different communities.
�There were 3.38 crore applicants and some more than 19 lakh have been left out of the final NRC evidently for their failure to prove their citizenship to the satisfaction of the authorities concerned,� said the Forum, maintaining that it is not holding brief for the NRC authorities that the exercise was cent per cent correct.
Opposing the idea of referring the cases of those left out of the final NRC to the Foreigners� Tribunals, the Forum said that the NRC authorities ought to continue hearing various complaints of anomalies in an impartial manner, at least for a year.