NRC: Aadhaar card holders asked to re-enrol for Aadhar at hearing centres
Just two months are left for the mammoth NRC exercise to conclude with the final draft scheduled to be published on 31st July, 2019. The process which is being carried out in accordance to the guidelines of the Supreme Court of India has been dogged by controversies; a recent example is that of the Aadhaar linkage with the NRC. People who have been called for hearings have been asked to apply for new Aadhaar enrolment even after already having an existing Aadhar card.
The complete draft NRC which was published in July last year enrolled the names of 2,89,83,677 people out of 3,29,91,384 applicants. Of around 40 lakh applicants who were found ineligible to be included in the complete draft published last year, nearly 36 lakh have filed claims for inclusion in the final NRC. The NRC authority is currently conducting hearings on the claims and objections ahead of publishing the final updated list.
One Vivek (name changed) went to one of the hearing centres along with his mother after receiving summons. After the hearing procedure Vivek’s mother was asked to enrol her name for Aadhaar even after him informing that his mother had already enrolled for it and was in possession of her Aadhar card.
“When I went for my mother’s NRC hearing, we were asked to fill up the Aadhaar enrolment form, to which I said that my mother has already enrolled her name and is in possession of the card. I asked the official to give the linkage form to link the Aadhaar with the NRC instead of the new enrolment form. But the official replied that I will have to apply for the enrolment again and give our biometrics for it. They refused to link the existing Aadhaar number. They forced us to re-apply for the Aadhaar again,” said Vivek.
He further said that he even contacted the NRC office through its helpline number to solve the issue. Vivek said, “When I called the NRC office, they informed me that it is mandatory to enrol for the Aadhaar card while at the time of hearing.”
Another person who did not wish to be named said the same thing. “I was forced to enrol for Aadhaar again even after telling them that I already had an Aadhaar card. The NRC officials told me that I will have to fill up the form again even though I already have a card. I even showed them my card but they refused to link it and asked us to fill up the form again,” he said.
According to the Aadhaar Act, a person can be prosecuted under the Act for giving the same biometric information twice. The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is a central agency which collects the biometric and demographic data and issues Aadhaar cards.
AAMSU stages dharna in Delhi, terms objections process ‘unfair’ and alleges harassment on minorities
The All Assam Minority Students’ Union, on 21 May, staged a protest at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi urging the central government and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) authorities to stop the “harassment” of genuine Indian citizens belonging to the minority community in the state.
Speaking to G Plus, Azizur Rahman, who is the adviser of AAMSU, alleged that thousands of families belonging to religious and linguistic minorities in the state are facing baseless objections from complainants who are anonymous. “Many of the objections that have been raised are all baseless and false. Most of the objections are made to harass the people who belong to the religious and linguistic minorities in the state. In most of the objection cases, the objector was not present during the hearing. According to the NRC state coordinator’s office, a total of two lakh objections have been raised, which we don’t believe because the number is higher: somewhere around 25 lakhs as per our observation,” said Rahman.
He added that the authorities are not letting the objectors’ identities to be revealed. “The government should reveal the identity of the objector. The authorities have issued a notification to protect the identity and address of the objector which is against the right to information of the person whose name has been sent for objection,” said Rahman.
He further added that NRC claimants have been summoned to far off places from their hometowns which are causing them financial and physical harassment. The AAMSU has submitted a memorandum to the union Home secretary’s office.
Azizur Rahman further stated that the NRC claims and objections in the state are violating the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which was endorsed by the Supreme Court during the NRC hearing on November 1, 2018.
AAMSU blames AASU for raising false objections, AASU rejects claim
The members of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) have blamed the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) for filing false objections against the linguistic minority community in the state. AAMSU adviser, Azizur Rahman, blamed the AASU and its support organisations have allegedly pressurised the NRC authorities to raise false objections against minorities in the state.
“AASU members along with other organisations from different districts of the state have filed false objections against the linguistic minorities in the state. They have pressurised the NRC authorities to carry out the process and we have all the proofs supporting our claim,” alleged Rahman.
“The district level officers have informed us that they have been pressurised from the top to carry out the objections in different areas. If you go to different districts like Morigaon, Barpeta and all, you will see the thing for yourself that how false objections have been raised by them against the minority community,” said Rahman.
Meanwhile speaking to G Plus, AASU General Secretary Lurin Jyoti Gogoi has rejected the claim to be baseless and blamed the AAMSU for protecting illegal migrants in the state.
“AASU is not carrying out the objection process to harass anyone purposely. We have filed the objection only when we came to know that the person is not a genuine citizen. AAMSU is doing this to shield them and is the protector of the illegal Bangladeshi in the state.
AAMSU was against the NRC process and AASU was for it. That makes it clear who wants to disturb the process. Everyone has the right to file objections against any suspicious persons,” said Lurin Jyoti Gogoi.
“We want an error-free NRC irrespective of religion and others who have entered the country after 1971, that’s it. Bidheki-mukto Asom (Foreigner-free Assam) is our aim. There are a lot of illegal foreigners residing in the state. How many objections did AAMSU file against them? AASU has always fought for the interests of the state and AAMSU is trying to protect the Bangladeshis like they have always done,” said Gogoi.
“We have helped the people who wanted file objections against certain persons who they think are not genuine citizens. We have not motivated anyone to file complaints against anyone purposely,” Gogoi added.