The villagers of Brahmajan area under the Gohpur Chaiduar Development Block staged a unique protest on September 15th, 2019 against the Supreme Court-appointed State National Register of Citizens (NRC) Coordinator and Assam government.
Unhappy with the final NRC list which was published online on September 14th, 2019, the villagers, mostly Hindu Bengalis, came out with khol (drum) and taal (cymbal) and sang Hari Naam to register their protest. The villagers said that they do not trust the updated NRC and raised slogans like ‘Prateek Hajela Murdabad’.
“The updation exercise seems like a conspiracy against the Hindu Bengalis. Names of over 80 per cent applicants from this village were not included in the NRC,” said a local villager.
The NRC list with individual statuses of all the 3.30 crore applicants was published online on September 14th, 2019. The list includes the names of those who have been accepted as the citizens of Assam, excluded and those whose appeals and claims are pending.
“There are large scale anomalies in the updation process. We have lost hope in the present list of the NRC. In some family, names of husband and children were included whereas, the name of the wife has been excluded even after submitting legacy data of 1965,” said a local villager.
The objective behind the updation of the NRC is aimed at segregating Indian citizens living in Assam from those who had illegally entered the state from the neighbouring country Bangladesh.
A total of 3,11,21,004 persons were found eligible for inclusion in the list while a total of 19,06,657 people were found ineligible including who did not submit claims in the last published updated NRC list on August 31st, 2019.
After the publication of the supplementary NRC list on August 31st, 2019, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Assam, main opposition party Congress, students’ bodies and activists vociferously expressed their displeasure over the exclusion figure. They alleged that list left out many genuine citizens.
On the other hand, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee has kick-started a 16-day awareness tour on NRC where a high-level team will visit different districts of Assam to sensitize the people excluded from the citizens’ register.
Photo: Moon Gogoi