Applicants getting their documents verified at an NRC office in Assam Credit: File image

Guwahati: In a significant development, the All Bodo Students’ Union (ABSU) has decided to withdraw cases filed against those suspected nationals whose names are included in the draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in a phased manner.

Announcing this, Fazlul Karim, secretary of Assam State Jamiat Ulama, said that ABSU president Pramod Boro has decided to work together with the leading minority body keeping the greater interest of the indigenous people of the state in mind. Karim was addressing media persons at a press briefing on Monday evening,

“We met the ABSU leadership and they have decided to work together with us,” Karim said.

Expressing serious concern over the increasing number of complaints, especially in Kokrajhar, Chirang and some other areas under Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD), Karim alleged that out of over 5 lakh complaints, over 4 lakh were registered in those places alone.

Referring to the Supreme Court verdict, where it said that complaints may be lodged against those whose names have been included in the NRC, Karim said, “It’s really unfortunate that more than 4 lakh complaints have been lodged in these areas and that too within a night.”

According to Karim, a section of complainants of such cases have approached the DCs concerned confessing that they had had to lodge the complaints following pressure from some other sources. “We have documentary evidences of such confessionary statements,” he claimed.

Informing that representatives from the ABSU and All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) were the complainants in a majority of cases filed, the Jamiat Ulama leader further said, “ABSU president Pramod Boro has decided to help the state unit of the Jamiat Ulama to withdraw cases filed against the genuine Indians in the NRC in areas under BTAD.”

“However, the Bodo students’ body will also cooperate with the state Jamiat to help the indigenous Indians against whom trial has already been started,” said Karim, adding: “People are facing severe hardships to prove their citizenship as they are forced to travel to distant places to appear before the officers concerned.”

Following the discussion with the state Jamiat and the ABSU, it was also decided that three NRC Seva Kendras will be set up in Kokrajhar district and one in Chirang district to help those indigenous people against whom cases have been filed in different NRC kendras. “The functioning of such NRC Seva Kendras will start from Tuesday,” he added.

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