Ethnic bodies set up legal cells to deal with final NRC

Ethnic bodies set up legal cells to deal with final NRC
GUWAHATI: As anxiety runs high among communities with most exclusions from the draft National Register of Citizens, organisations representing them are preparing to help “their own” deal with the fallout from the publication of the final NRC.
The draft NRC, released in July last year, had excluded 40.07 lakh people — bulk of whom were Hindu Bengalis, Hindi-speaking people, Gorkhas and Bengal-origin Muslims. They had to file claims for inclusion in the NRC, going through the bureaucratic rigmarole all over again. In addition, thousands had been summoned for reverification of their citizenship claims earlier this month. Now, they are waiting with bated breath for the final NRC.
If they do not make it, they have to appeal for inclusion at foreigners’ tribunals. If rejected, they have to approach the HC, followed by the Supreme Court. The legalities of the process are complicated and, often, in a state of flux. To ensure people don’t get lost in the bureaucratic maze, organisations representing minority communities are gearing up to help them with the legal aspects of what follows the publication of the NRC.
Citizens for Justice and Peace, the organisation formed by Teesta Setalvad to help victims of the 2002 Gujarat riots, will conduct a three-day workshop for advocates and para-legal teams from Thursday on how to help people who do not make it to the final NRC. “Many people from the Muslim community were dropped from the draft NRC simply because of a mismatch in how their names were spelt. People are anxious about the legal battle that will begin if they don’t figure in the final NRC,” Zamser Ali, state coordinator of the organisation, said.
For many Hindu Bengalis, the problem was a lack of proper documentation. “Many Hindu Bengalis didn’t have the requisite documents. They are poor and can’t fight the legal battle in tribunals,” said Shantanu Mukherjee, general secretary of Sara Assam Bangali Ekya Mancha. This organisation and several other Hindu Bengali outfits have planned a protest in New Delhi on September 5 after the release of the final NRC on August 31.

Similarly, the Akhil Assam Bhojpuri Parishad is preparing for the legal recourse to be taken after the final NRC is published. “We have no option but to take up the legal course for those from our community who could not make it to the final NRC,” said Nandlal Koiri, working president of the Parishad. Sensing a “conspiracy” against Hindi-speaking people, he said, “How can people from Bihar and UP become doubtful voters or foreigners? Is this not a conspiracy to tag Hindi-speaking people as doubtful citizens?” The Gorkha community, granted legitimacy by the India-Nepal Treaty of 1950, is also gearing up to face what lies ahead. “We have started setting up a legal cell to assist excluded people from the Gorkha community in filing their appeals before foreigners’ tribunals.
The draft NRC had excluded over 40L people who had to file claims for inclusion in NRC for the second time. If they don’t make it to the final NRC, they will have to appeal for inclusion at foreigners’ tribunals. If rejected, they will have to approach the HC and SC. 

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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As anxiety runs high among communities with most exclusions from the draft National Register of Citizens, organisations representing them are preparing to help “their own” deal with the fallout from the publication of the final NRC.

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