GUWAHATI : Assam Congress Legislature Party (ACLP) has demanded the Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner for DNA test of the people who would have been excluded from the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC).
In a memorandum sent to RGI, the ACLP leaders said the “bonafide citizens” being excluded from the draft NRC lists should be given free legal assistance and allowed DNA tests after the final list is published on July 31. The updating of the NRC is underway to weed out illegal migrants “DNA tests should be carried out if required in case of any doubt about parental linkage and the names of such persons should not be dropped from the NRC till such time as the DNA test results provide proof one way or the other,” it said.
“As it is, during the course of a tripartite meeting on the NRC issue, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had also favoured carrying out of DNA tests as and when required, so this option is quite reasonable and acceptable, ” the memorandum said.
“As we had been asserting throughout, not a single person who qualifies as a genuine citizen as per universally agreed upon criteria should be left out of the NRC on grounds of religion or language. And neither should any person who came after March 25, 1971 be inducted into the NRC solely on the grounds of religion or language,” it further said.
“Even DNA tests may be carried out if required in case of any doubt about parental linkage and the names of such persons should not be dropped from the NRC till such time as the DNA test results provide proof one way or the other. In order words, supposing one member out of a five-member family is excluded from the final draft of the NRC, then a DNA test would be the ideal way to establish the truth. As it is, during the course of a tripartite meeting on the NRC issue, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had also favoured carrying out of DNA tests as and when required, so this option is quite reasonable and acceptable,” it added.
The memorandum listed in detail the number of times the Standard Operating Procedure and modalities to verify genuine citizens had been violated and the rules changed by the state coordinator of NRC Prateek Hajela and said many bona-fide Indian citizens have been declared as foreign nationals by the foreign nationals in the last years.
The memorandum said that the dubious attitude adopted by the state NRC authority has played a major part in the names of numerous people getting excluded from the NRC although they have all the relevant documents.
The ACLP also demanded that the updating process be based on he Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003: Approved Modalities & SOP, as well as the Supreme Court stipulate that the NRC of 1951 and successive voters’ lists up to March 24, 1971.
“In order to make the entire NRC update process a fair and transparent one, it is vital to stick to the modalities/ Standard Operating Procedure already decided upon by various stakeholders. Any deviation thereof may result in chaos once the final NRC draft is out,” the memorandum said.
Advocating free legal assistance in such cases the party said that a competent lawyer could make a representation before the authorities on the basis of sound documentary evidence and that he could make the all-important difference between a person being declared a citizen of India or a foreigner.
“Therefore, you may kindly deem it fit to take up the matter with the relevant legal authorities as well as the Union home ministry, etc., to ensure the objective of providing free legal assistance,” it also said.