Congress slams NRC for serving notices to people to appear for hearing in faraway areas

Published: Aug 05, 2019, 14:39 IST | mid-day online correspondent

The MLAs also alleged that the authorities demanded the people from Lower Assam districts to prove their citizenship in faraway districts of Upper Assam

Congress slams NRC for serving notices to people to appear for hearing in faraway areas
NRC officials check documents of residents in Assam. File pic/AFP

Guwahati: Congress MLAs on Sunday alleged that a large number of people in Lower Assam districts were asked to prove their citizenship within 48 hours by appearing before the National Register of Citizens (NRC) authorities. The MLAs also alleged that the authorities demanded the people from Lower Assam districts to prove their citizenship in faraway districts of Upper Assam.

Congress legislators led by the leader of opposition Debabrata Saikia penned down a letter to NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela, the chief secretary and the director-general of police asking them to arrange for vehicles for those who have to attend the hearings between Monday and Wednesday.

The MLAs also alleged that several people from Lower Assam areas such as Barpeta, Goalpara, Chenga, Boko and Chaygaon have been served notices to reach faraway Upper Assam districts, including Golaghat, Jorhat, Sivasagar, Charaideo, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Dhemaji.

In the letter, which was written to Hajela, the MLAs said, "Most of these people do not own vehicles and it is difficult for them to find adequate public transportation facilities at such short notice." The letter was made available to the media.

The alleged incident comes at a time when some political leaders are branding a specific section of the people as foreigners only on suspicion. The leaders are wary that these attempts are of vested interests to waylay them en route to the venues of hearing and snatch their documents.

"Therefore, we request you kindly to instruct the Deputy Commissioners concerned to requisition an adequate number of buses, etc. to transport these hapless people to and fro the venues of hearing," the letter read.

The leaders in the letter also urged Hajela to instruct the district administrations concerned to arrange for security persons to accompany the vehicles.

In a separate letter to the chief secretary, Saikia said, "It is difficult to fathom why these people have been summoned virtually from one end of Assam to another even though the NRC process is digitized and consequently the necessary procedure could have been carried out in the nearest district, if not the nearest NRC centre."

Meanwhile, the affected people at Chaygaon in Kamrup district burnt effigies of Hajela and burnt copies of the notice served to them to appear for hearing in faraway areas.

The opposition All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) also protested against it.

With inputs from PTI

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