The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind has approached the Supreme Court and the All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU) is set to file a petition challenging the decision of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) authorities to remove what they said were “ineligible” names from the final register.
“Among the 19 lakh people excluded from the final NRC, there are many genuine Indian citizens, but authorities are yet to begin the process of appeals for them. But on the other hand, they are keen to start a process to delete more names,” AAMSU advisor, Azizur Rahman, told The Indian Express.
Maulana Fazlul Karim Qasimi, secretary of the Jamiat’s Assam unit, told The Indian Express that the body has challenged the order on multiple grounds. “We argued that the order violates the laws on which the NRC is being prepared. Without even completing the NRC process, they have ordered deletion of more names. The order should be withdrawn and work should not be carried out based on this order.”
Ordering the deletion of “ineligible” names in a letter dated October 13, Hitesh Dev Sarma, the state coordinator of the NRC, said that “some names of ineligible persons” — declared as foreigners by Foreigners Tribunals (DF), marked as Doubtful Voters (DV) by election officials or those whose cases are pending at Foreigners Tribunals (PFTs) and their descendants — “found entry to the NRC”.
The NRC process has hit a stonewall as rejection orders are yet to be issued to the 19 lakh excluded people — it will allow them to appeal against the exclusion in the Foreigners’ Tribunals.
Meanwhile, the state government is planning to file a review petition pressing for its demand for a 10-20% re-verification of the names included in the final list. G D Tripathi, Commissioner and Secretary of the Home and Political Department, Assam, told The Indian Express, “It has been the stand of the state government that there should be a 20% re-verification of the included names in the border districts and 10% elsewhere. We are exploring the possibility of filing a review petition.”
In July last year, the Assam government and the Centre petitioned the SC for such a re-verification exercise but it was not accepted by the apex court after former NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela submitted that re-verification was already done for 27% of the names. Top ministers and officials have since reiterated that the state government sticks to its demand for such a re-verification.
Hajela, who had led the exercise since 2013, was transferred out of Assam in October 2019 by the Supreme Court. He had come under sharp criticism from the state government prior to the transfer.
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