On Suspicious and Mischievous Re-Verification Notices by NRC Authority

To,

The Honourable Chief Justice of India,
Supreme Court of India,
Tilak Marg, New Delhi – 110201

(Through the Registrar, Supreme Court of India, email id: supremecourt@nic.in)

Dated: 7th August, 2019

Subject: Regarding the panicky situation created by suspicious and mischievous notices served to NRC applicants for re-verification by NRC authority in Assam

Your Lordship,

We, the undersigned citizens of India, most respectfully would like to draw your kind attention regarding the on-going updating of national register of citizens (NRC) in Assam. The people of Assam have been supporting the NRC updating process and participating in the hearings and verifications, sometimes even by paying huge costs in terms of time, energy and financial resources. Nevertheless, the people of Assam are ready to go through any verification whenever required for the greater interest of an error-free and just NRC.

However, we would like to draw your kind attention regarding the panicky situation created by suspicious and mischievous notices served to NRC applicants for re-verification by NRC authority in Assam. Now notices are being served to people and they are asked to appear before the NRC authority in far-flung areas with a short notice of one or two days. The people of Assam in general and people living in riverine areas in particular have experienced one of the worst floods in recent years. They are struggling to cope with the losses and many of them are still living in temporary relief camps. Under such circumstances, if these people are asked to attend the NRC hearing giving them just one or two days and summoned to 500-600 kilometres away from their homes, there is little doubt that a large number of them wouldn’t be able to attend the hearings.

The NRC updating process is in its final stage and the Honourable Supreme Court of India has directed that there is no need to conduct sample re-verification. This direction was a great relief for the people of Assam and many of them moved back to their normal lives. Many people resumed their occupation in other states. Previously, all the notices issued by NRC were available online but this time, the notices are being served physically, sometimes those are delivered at the eleventh hour and thus making their lives more perilous. There are many instances where the notice is served in the evening in remote areas and people asked to appear the next day at 9:00 am at a distance of 600 kms. This is totally impossible for a person living in a char of lower Assam who needs half a day to cross the river to attend the hearing in Jorhat, Sivasagar, Golaghat and other upper Assam districts.

As per the Honourable Supreme Court monitored and approved modalities, the applicants should be provided at least 15 days of time to attend the hearing after receiving the notice. The Honourable Supreme Court has also observed that the persons required to attend hearing shouldn’t face inconveniences and are not required to travel long distances. However, it seems that the NRC authority in Assam is violating the Honourable Supreme Court’s direction or purposefully ignoring the Honourable Supreme Court’s observation.

This episode of re-verification has already created a severe humanitarian crisis in the state of Assam. People are using risky and desperate modes of travel to reach the hearing venues on time. On the evening of 4th August, 2019 a bus carrying people from Sontoli area of Kamrup (R) district to Golaghat collided with a truck carrying bitumen near Guwahati. Most of them are critically injured; children and women burned by hot bitumen are fighting for their lives in Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. On 5th August,2019, a woman named Rejia Khatun (68) from Jaokatadia village in Kamrup (R) district died of heatstroke in the Nagaon district.

In this crucial juncture of this historic national register of citizens (NRC) process, we pray before Your Lordship for the following:

i) Kindly direct the NRC authority to re-schedule the hearing either within the district or within the adjoining districts and provide at least one week’s time so that the applicant can attend the hearing and complete the process within the due date stipulated by the Honourable Supreme Court.

ii) Kindly direct the NRC authority to make the notice available on internet along with the physical serving so that people living in other states can also access the same and attend the hearing accordingly.

iii) Kindly direct the NRC authority to reschedule hearing at a convenient place for those who have already missed the re-verification hearing.

iv) Kindly direct district administration to provide the basic transportation facility like providing a boat and bus for the greater interest of an error-free and fair NRC.

Yours faithfully,

  1. Abhilash Rajkhowa (President, Students’ Federation of India, Panjab University)
  2. Advocate Bijan Das (Ex Advocate General, Tripura)
  3. Advocate Hemen Borah, Jorhat
  4. Amjad Hussain, Nalbari
  5. Amrit Goswami (Social Activist, Jorhat)
  6. Ananta Kalita (Economist)
  7. Angshuman Sarma, JNU
  8. Ankur Tamuliphukan (Researcher)
  9. Anupan Chakrabarty (Independent Journalist, Guwahati)
  10. Arabinda Roy (Nagarik Udyog, Silchar)
  11. Arup Baishya (Writer and Political Activist)
  12. Ashis Choudhury (Professor)
  13. Asit Baran Chakrabarty (Retd. Bank Employee-and-Social Worker)
  14. Baharul Islam (Professor, LTK College, Lakhimpur)
  15. Bakuli Baishya (Writer)
  16. Bhaben Handique (Convener, Swaraj Asom)
  17. Bhabesh Nath (Teacher and Youth Activist)
  18. Bhaskar Das, Majuli
  19. Bidyut Sagar Boruah (Research Scholar, Delhi University)
  20. Bipul Hazarika (President, Asom Mojuri Sramik Union)
  21. Biswajit Kumar Bora (Assistant Professor, University of Delhi)
  22. Bondita Acharya (Human Rights Activist, Jorhat)
  23. Bonojit Hussain (Farmer and Researcher)
  24. Chinmoy Madhurjya Deka (Student, University of Delhi)
  25. Dayasagar Kalita (Researcher, Jatiya Itihash)
  26. Debabrat Das (Writer)
  27. Debajit Choudhury (Social Worker)
  28. Debakanta Handique (Writer)
  29. Debashri Bhatta (Social Worker)
  30. Dibakar Sensua (Educationist, Moran)
  31. Dibash Phookan (Freelance Journalist, Educational Entrepreneur and Social Activist)
  32. Dilip Kumar Dey (Retd. Educationist)
  33. Dipak Kumar Adhikary (UMYCA)
  34. Ajit Patangiya
  35. Arupa Patangiya Kalita (Retd. College Teacher and Creative Writer)
  36. Barnali Baruah Das (Jukti Bikax Bikax Xomiti, Assam)
  37. Devabrata Sharma (Chief Editor, Asamiya Jatya Abhidhan)
  38. Dinesh Baishya (Educationist and Author)
  39. Ghanashyam Nath (Educationist and Author)
  40. Koushik Das (Chief Editor, Mukta Chinta)
  41. Mrinmoy Dev (Doctor, Writer and Social Activist, Karimganj)
  42. Ranjit Kumar Das (Social Activist)
  43. Rituraj Kalita (Associate Professor, Cotton University)
  44. Sushanta Kar (Educationist and Writer, Tinsukia)
  45. Adil Ulyasmin (Ex-HoD, Department of Political Science, Dibrugarh University)
  46. Dulal Kalita (Amguri, Sivasagar)
  47. Dulal Sen (Activist, Forum For Social Harmony, Guwahati)
  48. Faruk Laskar (Social Activist, Forum For Social Harmony)
  49. Fojolur Rahman (Social Worker, Lakhimpur)
  50. Godfrey Hereh (Adibasi Activist, Lakhimpur)
  51. Gulam Sarowar Hussain (BE Graduate)
  52. Guna Kalita (Social Activist)
  53. Gyanen Chakraborty (Social Activist, Nalbari)
  54. Harkumar Goswami (Creative Entrepreneur and Social Activist)
  55. Jamir Uddin Talukdar (Journalist, Hojai)
  56. Jilmil Hazarika (Actress)
  57. Jiten Bezbaruah (Writer, Dibrugarh)
  58. Jnanedra Barkakati (Painter and Sculptor)
  59. Joseph Kawa (Professor, Bosco Institute, Jorhat)
  60. Junu Bora (Writer and Social Activist, Guwahati)
  61. Jyotirmoy Das (Power Engineer)
  62. Jyotirmoy Talukdar (Ashoka University)
  63. Kalparnabh Gupta (Trade Unionist)
  64. Kalyani Barua (Announcer and Human Rights Activist)
  65. Kamal Chakrabarty (Social Activist, Silchar)
  66. Kamal Kumar Medhi (Social Activist)
  67. Kamal Nayan Mishra(Teacher and Youth Activist)
  68. Kamalesh Gupta (Secretary, Elora Bigyan Mancha)
  69. Karishma Hazarika(PhD Researcher, GU)
  70. Kiran Kumar Tanti (Adibasi Matribhasa Dabi Samiti)
  71. Krishnanu Bhattacharjee (Social Activist, Silchar)
  72. Krisnakanta Gogoi (Social Activist)
  73. Kumkum Malakar (Social Activist)
  74. Lohit Krishna Misra (Retired Central Govt Officer and Social Activist)
  75. Loknath Goswami (Artist and Cultural Activist)
  76. Madhurjya Baruah (Advocate, Gauhati High Court)
  77. Mahesh Deka (Journalist)
  78. Maitrayee Patar (Poet)
  79. Manash Das (President, NTUI, Assam State Council)
  80. Manoram Gogoi (Journalist and Entrepreneur)
  81. Masuma Begam (Social Worker)
  82. Mayur Chetia (Writer, New Delhi)
  83. Moiful Yasmin (Darrang)
  84. Mostak Ahmed Choudhury (Editor, Gyansambhar, Hojai)
  85. Mousumi Chetia (PhD Researcher, International Institute of Social Studies, Part of EUR, Rotterdam, The Hague, Netherlands)
  86. Mridula Kalita (Women Rights Activist)
  87. Mrinal Kanti Som (General Secretary, Assam Mojury Sramik Union)
  88. Naser Ahmed (Central Club, Jorhat)
  89. Padma Lochan Nath (Educationist, Golaghat)
  90. Parijat Nanda Ghosh (President, Prayash, Silchar)
  91. Pijush Kanti Das ( Journalist, Silchar)
  92. Pooja Nirala (Youth Activist)
  93. Prabin Kumar Neog (Veterinary Professional, Jorhat, Tiyok)
  94. Pranav Doley (Advisor, Jeepal Krishak Sramik Sangha)
  95. Professor Dalil Uddin Ahmed (Moirabari College)
  96. Puravee Kalita (Social Worker)
  97. Pulin Phukan (Ex-Block Development Officer)
  98. Rabia Khanom (Writer)
  99. Rafe Yasin (Central Club, Jorhat)
  100. Rajen Kalita (Retd. College Teacher, Poet, Critic, Editor and Social Worker)
  101. Rashmirekha Bora (Writer and Activist)
  102. Reema Borah (Filmmaker)
  103. Robson Munda (President, Jharkhandi Adibasi Sangram Parishad)
  104. Rofique Ahmed, Jorhat (Secretary, Sanmilita Nagarik Mancha, Jorhat)
  105. Rofiul Hussain Baruah (Writer, Nalbari)
  106. Rupalim Dutta (Writer)
  107. Sadikur Rahman Baruah (Engineer and Social Worker)
  108. Safiul Islam (Asst. General Secretary, APCR)
  109. Sakil Ahmed (Journalist)
  110. Samhita Barooah (Shillong)
  111. Samir Jyoti Baishya (Filmmaker)
  112. Sandipan Talukdar (Science Consultant, Newsclick)
  113. Sanjoy Kumar Tanti (Tezpur)
  114. Santana Sarma (Principal, Jorhat Jatiya Vidyalaya)
  115. Santi Ranjan Mitra (Retd. Teacher and Social Worker)
  116. Satyesh Bhattacharjjee (Social Activist)
  117. Satyjit Hazarika (Social Activist, Dergaon)
  118. Shailen Gohain (Jukti Bikax Bikax Xomiti,Assam, Dibrugarh)
  119. Siba Charan Kalita (Sr. Journalist, Chaygaon)
  120. Sisir Dey (Lawyer, Social Activist)
  121. Soneswar Narah (Advisor, Jeepal Krishak SramikSangha)
  122. Subrat Talukdar (Political Activist)
  123. Sudakshina Gogoi (Research Scholar, Dibrugarh University)
  124. Sujata Hati Barua (Asst. Professor, Puthimari College)
  125. Syed Tafsiul Mannan (Retd Engineer)
  126. Taha Amin (Reporter, Silchar)
  127. Taha Amin Mazumdar (Reporter)
  128. Tamojit Saha (Professor, Journalist, Editor & Poet)
  129. Tanujjyoti Gogoi (Writer, Guwahati)
  130. Tosha Probha Kalita (Litterateur)
  131. Toufiqul Hussain (President, SMDC, Jorhat High Madrassa)

 

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