With the Assam government set to publish the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) on July 30, a group of people in Assam has decided to start a ‘Constitution Yatra’ from Sunday to make people aware about the rights which was given to citizens by the Indian Constitution, its relevance and other aspects.
The programme will start from Hatiputa area in western Assam’s Dhubri district and will cover Bongaigaon, Goalpara, Barpeta and Baksa districts, holding meetings and interactions with the locals and making people aware about the constitutional rights.
“About 1000 constitutional sevaks will take part in cycle rallies across these districts from June 23 to July 3. Former member of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Harsh Mander is also scheduled to take part in the rally and programmes,” said Sakil Ahmed, one of the conveners of the programme.
Over 44 lakh peoples names have been excluded from the draft NRC which was published by the government of Assam last year.
Although 36 lakh of them have already applied for inclusion of their names in the final NRC, the NRC authorities have also received over 2.5 lakh objections against people whose name was included in the draft NRC.
The NRC authorities have conducted hearings for claims and objections process in different areas of the state.
However, there is allegation of mismanagement and violations of rights while conducting the hearings by the NRC officials, leading to suffering of the common people.
“The article 14 of the Indian Constitution provides for protection of citizens of the country against any kinds of racial or religious discrimination. However, while updating the NRC, hundreds of uneducated women have been subjected to discrimination in different parts of the state,” he said.
Ahmed further said that although Article 19 of the Indian Constitution allows freedom of speech and work and live within the territory of India, hundreds of people who have lost their lands and homes due to erosion are often subjected to torture in Assam when they go from one place to another to work and earn their livelihood.
“This is happening because some of the people of the state are not aware of the constitutional rights. We are going to make the people aware of their rights and relevance of the constitution in our lives so that there is a peaceful atmosphere in Assam,” he said while appealing everyone to join the cycle rally.