From Our Special Correspondent
GUWAHATI: The Assam government Saturday claimed that many genuine Indian citizens have been left out of the final NRC but they need not panic as they can appeal to the Foreigners Tribunal. The government will provide legal support to the excluded people, Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary told PTI.
“One thing is sure that many genuine Indians were left out of the NRC. However, they don’t need to panic or worry. They can appeal in the Foreigners Tribunals,” he said.
Stating that the government will provide the people legal assistance if they sought it, he said, “We have increased the number of FTs to 300 from 100. The additional FTs will start functioning from Monday. So more people can approach the FTs.”
Asked to comment on leading student body AASU’s allegation that the lesser number of exclusions was due to the government’s inaction, the minister said that the entire exercise was carried out under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court.
“In the entire process, we provided the logistic support. We had no other role. Even the NRC State Coordinator was directly reporting to the Supreme Court and did not share any information with us,” he said.
Thrice chief minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi of the Congress said the Centre had failed in its duty to come up with a flawless NRC and that the people of Assam were feeling “helpless”.
“The way the NRC was prepared casually, illegal immigrants have been included in the list and genuine Indians excluded. It is the responsibility of the Government of India. We feel helpless. The NRC has left 19 lakh people in a precarious situation. They are neither the citizens of India nor are they foreigners…they are neither here nor there. The NRC doesn’t come in the way of detecting foreigners. The government must do its duty,” he said.
The All Assam Minority Students Union (AAMSU), while being non-committal on the outcome, has said it would take legal recourse for those persons who had submitted legal documents but are now featuring among the 19-odd lakh who have been excluded from the final list.
“We are not reading too much into the exclusions figure. But we have preliminary information from some districts that many religious and linguistic minority people have been excluded,” AAMSU advisor, Azizur Rahman said.
The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangha too has expressed its reservations, saying that the NRC “is not in expected lines for the people of Assam” and that “over one lakh Gorkhas have been excluded.’’ The Parisangha said that many descendants of freedom fighters and martryrs too have been excluded. (With Agency Inputs)