Lack of objectors’ presence during hearing of objections raised over inclusion of names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has made the task difficult for NRC officials in different centres across Assam.
The absence of objectors during hearings is also taking the lead off an alleged conspiracy to harass genuine Indian citizens in the name of NRC update.
As the officials engaged in NRC update process took up the cases of complaints from Monday, they faced problems as objectors were not present during the hearing in most of the cases leading the officials to decide ex parte.
“I am a genuine Indian citizen. I hail from Rampur village under Sarbhog in Barpeta district. I was served a notice by the NRC officials saying that there is an objection raised against my Indian citizenship,” said Har Kumar Goswami, one such victim.
“I submitted proof of my citizenship but the two complainants were not present. When I wanted to know the details about the complainants, the officials could give me just a vague address,” added Goswami.
Goswami is a resident of Rampur village and his family has been living there since generations.
“This indicates that some people have used the occasion to harass other people. The NRC officials also accepted the complaints without verifying the basic credentials of the complainants and their address,” he said.
Goswami is not the only one such victim. Lakhs of people are facing similar situations in the NRC offices across the state against whom some people have filed objections doubting their Indian citizenship but failed to appear before the hearing.
The final draft NRC published last year excluded over 40 lakh people in Assam due to some discrepancies in their documents submitted to prove their Indian citizenship.
While over 36 lakh people filed claims afresh to include their names in the NRC, over two lakh complaints have also been filed by people against other people questioning their Indian citizenship.
Interestingly, most of these complaints were filed on a single day—December 31, which was the last date for filing of claims and objections.
Several minority organizations have also claimed a conspiracy behind the absence of objectors and said that these objections have been filed forcefully with an intention to harass the people of a particular community.