By MM News
New Delhi: A Fact Finding Team of United Against Hate visited Assam recently to explore the aftermath of final list of NRC which has declared 19 lakh people to be foreigners and are going to strip them of their citizenship. The team addressed a Press Conference 17 September in Press Club, New Delhi.
The members of Fact Finding team were Nadeem Khan from UAH, Prashant Tandon, senior journalist, Sanjay Kumar, journalist and Afroz Alam Sahil, documentary film maker.
The team members briefed the Fact Finding Report (copy attached). They talked about the horrors and trauma of people cutting across communities who had been deleted from the final NRC list. They also talked about the incompetence of the Foreign Tribunals that are going to re-examine the claim of the people who have been excluded. They also talked about the detention centres which are unfortunately being constructed by laborers who themselves have been excluded from NRC and could be jailed in those same centers in the future. The guest speakers in the Press Conference were Ravi Nair and Supreme Court Advocates Sanjay Hegde and Fuzail Ayyubi. All of them have been active against the draconian NRC project.
Ravi Nair said, “people migrate for jobs all over India. These poor laborers often lack documents but now they are thinking of making this project All India. India will have to face the severe criticism in the upcoming sessions of the UN Human Rights Council. Universal declaration of human rights is being violated dreadfully by this NRC project. Right to nationality is after all non-negotiable.
“Fuzail Ayyubi said, “Foreign Tribunal takes away the basic identity of people. Facing FT itself is harassment. Moreover, the people sitting in the FT are not competent enough to take such major decisions about lives of millions people. NO appellate authority is present within FT. There is no upper layer of appeal making this project more inhuman”.
Nadeem Khan also added that it is on record in Assam Assembly that the CM has met the FT members twice to give directions This itself questions the unbiased judicial nature of the Foreign Tribunal.
Sanjay Hegde said, “when SC gives a final decision it is often wrong. Citizenship is a right to have rights, which itself has been put into questions through NRC. Descendants over generations are now asked to show papers to prove their citizenship. Absence of someone from the NRC list does not prove that someone is not an Indian citizen. To the minds of many people in Assam, all Bengali speaking Muslims are Bangladeshis which is absolutely baseless. Behind the 20 lakh people mentioned in NRC, are 20 lakh families and many more lakh people going destitute paying lawyers. This will lead to disenfranchisement and a humongous humanitarian crisis which will put the entire democracy in jeopardy.
A short documentary called “The state of Stateless in Assam” prepared by Afroz Alam Sahil, a member of the Fact Finding Team was screened