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NRC: parties express apprehension to confuse people, says AASU


Press Trust of India Guwahati
The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) on Wednesday said it has full faith in the updation process of the NRC and claimed that the apprehension expressed by various political parties is a ploy to confuse people as they want to protect their votebanks.
The AASU is a signatory of the Assam Accord, a 1985 document that provided for "detection, deletion and deportation" of illegal foreigners from Assam.
Under the monitoring of the Supreme Court, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in the BJP-ruled state to prepare a list of genuine Indians. The final version of it is slated to be published on August 31.
"We have full faith in the process. Different political parties are trying to confuse the people by expressing apprehensions at a stage when the NRC is to be published in a few days," AASU Chief Advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya told PTI.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was also the BJP president earlier, and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had earlier "hailed the publication of the draft NRC but suddenly they started criticising the process," he said.
Former Congress chief minister Tarun Gogoi who had claimed it was his government that initiated the NRC process, recently alleged that the register is going to be just a "scrap of paper", Bhattacharya claimed.
"Political parties seek to protect their vote banks involving both Hindus and Muslims and these criticisms are just a ploy to confuse people," he alleged.
The BJP government is there at the Centre since 2014 and in the state from 2016, and both have the power to resolve the foreigners' issue, the AASU leader said.
"Before both the assembly poll and recent Lok Sabha elections, the BJP promised that they will ensure publication of a foreigner-free NRC but now they have adopted a different stand," the AASU leader said.
The BJP and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad are claiming that a large number of foreigners have been included in the NRC drafts.
The state and central governments had moved the Supreme Court seeking permission for 20 per cent sample re-verification to find out wrongful inclusions and exclusions of persons in the NRC. The apex court rejected the plea on July 23.
The AASU leader urged political parties and the governments not to confuse people but cooperate in the process of the NRC publication.
During the last 34 years since the signing of the Assam Accord, there has been no detection or deportation or sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border, Bhattacharya claimed.
A six-year agitation by the AASU demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord by the Rajiv Gandhi government and the AASU on August 15, 1985.
Successive state governments failed to take concrete steps to resolve the foreigners' issue.
The ongoing process of updating the NRC started with the setting up of the NRC State Coordinator's Office in 2013 and the actual fieldwork began in February 2015 under the monitoring of the Supreme Court.
Assam, which had faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.
It is for the first time since then that the NRC is being updated.
"If genuine Indian citizens are left out, the AASU will extend all help to them," he said and requested the people to maintain peace.

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First Published: Aug 28 2019 | 6:05 PM IST

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