Gorkha Parisangh to move ECI, home ministry on D-voter issue

Push for screening panel in memo to NRC Assam state coordinator

GUWAHATI:  The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, a national level organisation, has decided to call on the Election Commission of India to consider putting in place a mechanism to solve the D-voter (doubtful-voter) issue for a free and fair National Register of Citizens which is being updated in Assam.

In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the Parisangh said its Assam unit would soon meet the apex poll panel and discuss the D-voter issue which has largely affected the NRC upgrade process.

The delegation will also call on the home secretary and joint secretary (Northeast), ministry of home affairs, to push for its proposal soon.

The Supreme Court has set a July 30 deadline for the final NRC to be published in Assam.

A delegation of the Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh on Monday evening called on the NRC state coordinator, Prateek Hajela here and submitted a memorandum on the issue.

The team comprised its Assam state president, N N Upadhyay, national secretary (youth affairs), Nanda Kirati Dewan, vice president  Dilip Chhetri and state women cell president Lakshmi Subedi. 

“The NRC state co-ordinator informed the BhaGoPa delegation that NRC decisions are based on the merit of the applicant and documents available for reference. NRC doesn’t consider background of any individual in its upgrade process however in special cases when brought to their notice is resolved on merit during the hearing process and the process in on,” the statement by the Parisangh said.

“During the interaction, the state coordinator was clear that NRC cannot reconsider D-voter marked cases even if legacy of the person or family members are not considered D-voters and has sufficient linkage documents, which is one of the key reference documents in the NRC update process,” it said.

Data suggest that most cases of exclusion in the recent list are either D Voter (DV), Pending at Foreigner Tribunal (PFT) or Declared Foreigner (DF) along with legacy mismatch. There are D-voters without reference and isolated cases. 

“D-voters cases like that of Manju Devi, the granddaughter of freedom fighter and president of Assam Association in 1921 who has no records of reference either with Border Police or Foreigner Tribunal should be solved by the home affairs ministry and ECI involving all stakeholders”, it said. 

In the memorandum, the Parisangh further suggested that an empowered special screening committee comprising competent authorities of the Assam Police (Border), ECI, home ministry, state home department, Registrar General of India and NRC authority should thoroughly examine the existing D-voters who either have not been served notice by FT or no reference in Foreigner Tribunal.

“Once found satisfactory, the screening committee should issue a DV Clearance Certificate (so that his/her name can be included in final NRC). The same certificate should be validated by members of Foreigner Tribunal so that in event of case opened in a later date, the DV CC by the special screening committee is accepted to close the case,” it stated in the memorandum to the NRC Assam state coordinator. 

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