New Delhi: Alleging that some pro-humanist groups and activists at national and state level are becoming increasingly active on behalf of the people whose names have been excluded from the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) under the pretext of human rights, Assam Public Works (APW) — the original petitioner of NRC in Supreme Court — has now raised the question: Where were these so-called groups hiding for so many years when people of Assam had been struggling to avail of their own fundamental rights in their land?
Addressing media persons in New Delhi on Tuesday, APW president Abhijit Sarma demanded that illegal immigrants staying in Assam must be punished under the standing laws of the land. “So, at any cost, we will not accept any kind of special privilege given to those people under the pretense of human rights. These are the very same people who have been continuously violating the rights of the people of Assam since 1971. These are the very same people, illegally living in Assam, who has been violating the political and fundamental rights, and consequently creating a kind of existential crisis for the people of Assam,” Sarma said.
Demanding that names of sons of the soil of the state be included in the NRC in a very smooth and easier manner, he further alleged that the indigenous people of Assam living in their own land and standing in queues to submit the required papers and facing problems must be included in the much-awaited register.
Terming the date of publishing the final NRC as a dark day for the people of Assam, the APW also reiterated their demand for 100% re-verification of the final NRC data.
“We will approach the Apex Court again. Claim made by the state NRC coordinator Prateek Hazela about 27% re-verification of NRC data is weak and full of flaws. It is a clear offence and the state coordinator misguided the court by establishing that the re-verification was not required, as claimed by the state and central government, as he had already executed the 27% re-verification,” he alleged.
Urging the government to bring issues like money spent for preparing the NRC within the ambit of the RTI, the APW president also demanded proper investigation of the entire expenditure by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
“How a large section of illegal immigrants managed to get their names included in the final list of the NRC should be investigated properly by agencies like NIA. We also demand the government to hand over the entire matter of the NRC to the CBI.
Dhrubajyoti Talukdar, general secretary and Bitu Talukdar, adviser of APW also spoke during the meeting.