Union Home Minister Amit Shah's announcement in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update process will be carried out afresh in Assam by the Centre, concurrently with the rest of India, has been panned by Assam Congress leader Debabrata Saikia.
The Assam Congress leader said that announcement about a fresh NRC update in Assam indicates that the Centre is "unwilling" to accept the decision of the apex Court. Saikia contended that since 50,000 employees of the state government had participated in the process and and over Rs 1,200 crore of tax-payers’ money was spent on the exercise, it would be unwise to declare it as null and void.
The Congress leader further recalled that some people had to sell livestock and even property to prove their citizenship, while others had to traverse over 600 kms.
The leader of opposition in Assam also alleged that Centre wants the exercise again "so that a section of genuine citizens from the religious minority community can be excluded and a section of illegal migrants from the linguistic minority community can be inducted in the NRC."
Appealing to the Supreme Court not to allow the Central Government to carry out another NRC update exercise in Assam only a brief interval after completion of a lengthy process for the same purpose, he also called upon the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) to strongly oppose the Government's move. It would violate the terms and conditions of the Assam Accord, he said.
"Otherwise, over three crore residents of Assam will face renewed harassment in the name of proving their citizenship", he warned.
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