The All Assam Minorities Students’ Union (AAMSU) has urged the Central government to remove of state NRC (National Register of Citizens) coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma for his “biased activities” and failure to issue rejection orders to those excluded from the updated NRC list. The AAMSU, one of the stakeholders in the BNRC monitoring case before the Supreme Court has filed two petitions seeking a comprehensive re-verification of the complete list of citizens published on August 31, 2019.
Of the 3.3 crore people who had applied for inclusion in the NRC, 19.06 lakh were left out for lack of adequate documents to establish their citizenship. Those on the rejection list were supposed to have been served notices with reasons for their exclusion. According to the AAMSU, each of these 19.06 lakh people has been awaiting the rejection slip for approaching a Foreigners’ Tribunal to present their cases afresh within 120 days of receiving the notice. “Sarma is working to stop the entire procedure of NRC updating for his vested interests violating the directive of the Supreme Court,” AAMSU president Rejaul Karim Sarkar said addressing a press conference here on Monday. “Sarma was appointed as state NRC coordinator in May 2014, but he was removed in 2016.
Later he was also removed from the post of District Registrar of Citizens Registration (DRCR) West Karbi Anglong,” Sarkar said. “But Sarma was again appointed as state NRC coordinator on November 9, 2019. This appointment is mysterious,” Sarka also said and added that the minority student body had filed a petition in the apex court for the removal of Sarma on November 25, 2019. The Supreme court had issued notice to the Centre and the state government on January 6, 2020, and this case is still pending in the Supreme court, he said. “Before the publication of the final NRC list, the Centre and the state government on July 8, 2019, submitted that 20 per cent re-verification in the districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 re0verification should be carried out in other districts. But the court had rejected the petition on July 23, 2019, on the ground that 27 per cent re-verification had been already carried out during the claims and objective settlement period. He also said on January 30, 2020, the NRC coordination committee meeting has resolved to speed up the rejection slip of the NRC rejects. Sarma also said that t6he rejection slip would be issued in December 2020. But Sarma had issued a directive to the DRCRs to start the re-verification process violating the Supreme Court directive. “In this regard, the AMSU had submitted another petition in SC on October 28, 2020. The Supreme court had issued notice on January 29, 2021, and the case is still pending in the court,” Sarkar also said. “During NRC updating on August 7, 2018, the Supreme court had directed not to pass any comment in media. But Sarma has been continually passing comment in media and through his posts on social media,” he added.