Left parties have called for initiating judicial process to hear those left out of NRC

FIVE Left parties have expressed concern over the 19.06 lakh people excluded from Assam’s updated National Register of Citizens. Preliminary reports show that a large number of Indian citizens have been left out. It is necessary, therefore, to ensure that there is a fair process by which the appeals can be heard and decided. In a joint statement, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party have said the procedure set out is for those who have been excluded to appeal within 120 days to designated Foreigners’ Tribunals. The Foreigners’ Tribunal is not a judicial body and functions more on an executive basis. As per the present rules, it will consider the merit of the appeal before deciding to be admitted.  Such screening is unwarranted.  To ensure a fair process and to safeguard the rights of those excluded, it is essential to have the appeal go through a judicial process. The Left parties demand that a judicial mechanism be set-up to hear the appeals over and above the tribunal. Those declared as foreigners by the tribunals are liable to be sent to detention camps.  Those detained in detention camps do not have elementary human rights. Detaining people for an indefinite period in such camps is illegal and unconstitutional.  The Left parties demand the abolition of the detention camp system. The BJP in Assam is demanding re-verification of the NRC list or even a fresh NRC in the state. This must not be done as it is meant only to advance the BJP’s communal and divisive agenda.  The Left parties appeal to the people of Assam to maintain communal harmony and to not allow any targeting of the excluded persons. The BJP government is talking about extending the NRC process in the whole of India.  This is uncalled for and it is being done only with the aim of targeting certain sections of people and to create polarization.  The Left parties are opposed to the NRC process, in any form, being extended to the rest of India. The signatories to the statement are Sitaram Yechury, CPI-M General Secretary, his CPI counterpart D Raja, Dipankar Bhattacharya and Debabrata Biswas and Kshiti Goswami, General Secretary of CPI (ML), All India Forward Bloc and RSP respectively.                                     

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