Gauhati HC upholds NRC order on foreigners‘ families

GUWAHATI: on Friday upheld the instructions passed by coordinator for National Register of Citizens (NRC) to all authorities not to count brothers, sisters and other family members of declared foreigners as Indian citizens until their citizenship is confirmed by foreigners’ tribunals.

The high court’s verdict on a petition filed by one Azizul Haque challenging the coordinator’s instructions issued on May 2, means that a huge number of people will now not find their names in the NRC, which is a list of Indian citizens living in the state, at least until the tribunals’ decide in their favour. The document is being prepared by the Registrar of India under supervision of the Supreme Court.

Accordingly, the border police are required to refer the names of the family members of a declared foreigner to the tribunals and the inclusion of their names in the NRC will be put on hold till their names are cleared as Indian citizens by the tribunals.

Most of the declared foreigners have vanished immediately after the tribunals declared them as foreigners. According to Police, 38,418 of the declared foreigners are absconding while a handful of them have been kept in detention camps until deportation.

The NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela has also in his May 2 letter asked the deputy commissioners of the districts to start fresh efforts to locate the vanished declared foreigners.

There are different versions of the number of immigrants who have been declared as foreigners declared by tribunals. According to NRC authorities, the number could be around 50,000 while figures given by other government agencies range between 20,000 and 40,000.

In addition to the declared foreigners and their family members, there are another set of people, whose inclusion in the NRC has also been put on hold till they are cleared by the tribunals. These are the people marked as D-voters in electoral rolls by Election Commission because their citizenship was found to be of doubtful nature. According to state government’s reply in assembly last March, the number of D-voters are 1,25,333.

Hajela said, “The high court has upheld my instructions issued that names of siblings of declared foreigners be kept on hold till decision is rendered from the foreigners tribunals.”

The Opposition, Congress said a large number of genuine Indians now stand to lose their place in the NRC. “This is a design by BJP and we will oppose,” leader of opposition Debabrata Saikia said.

But, in BJP camp, the high court’s order has further strengthened the state NRC coordinators’ hands to ensure a flawless NRC. “The NRC is not about numbers. It is not about how many will be included or how many will be excluded. We all want that NRC to ba perfect one without any flaws,” BJP spokesman Rupam Goswami said.

Get latest news & live updates on the go on your pc with . Download The for your device. in English and other languages.