Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday strongly asserted that even people excluded from NRC would not be treated as foreigners and Foreigners' Tribunals are the ultimate authority in declaring a person foreigner after a stipulated process.
While reviewing the law and order situation of the state, CM directed the DCs and SPs to maintain close relations with the influential people and opinion-makers in the society before and after the final publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC) on 31st August, 2019 in a meeting with the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Superintendents of Police (SPs) of all districts of the state at Assam Administrative Staff College in the city.
Sonowalasked them to ensure no misunderstanding regarding the NRC process remainedamong the people. He also instructed the district administrations to take helpof public representatives like MLAs, Zilla Parishad members, Panchayat membersand dedicated NGOs etc. to make all sections of the people aware about the realimplications of NRC process which was being monitored by Supreme Court of Indiaand legal ways which would be available to the people excluded from NRC.
Itis to be mentioned that, MHA had recently issued a statement which informedthat non-inclusion of a person's name in the NRC does not by itself amount tohim or her being declared as a foreigner as they would be given adequateopportunity to present their case before the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs). Thestatement also informed that MHA would amend the rules to increase the presenttime limit of filing of appeals in FTs from 60 days to 120 days regardingexclusion from final NRC.
Sayingthat Assam had the distinction of being the first state where NRC was beingupdated, Sonowal urged the DCs and SPs to extensively tour their districts andspread the right message about NRC among the people through discussions withvarious stakeholders. He also expressed optimism that people of the state wouldextend their wholehearted cooperation this time also like in the time ofpublication two draft NRCs in maintaining peace and harmony. The chief ministeralso asked the police to make the youth aware about right usage of social mediaand harms of spreading rumours and misinformation.
Inthe meeting, the chief minister also directed the DCs to ensure the fulfilmentof state government's commitment to provide land pattas to 1 lakh landlesspeople of the state and for the purpose, he instructed the DCs to makenecessary arrangements to distribute around 3000 land pattas in each of the districts by October.