It has been brought to my notice that many Assamese Gorkhas, including the families of 1979 Assam Agitation Martyr Baijayanti Devi from Chandmari (Sonitpur) and Sahitya Akademi Award Winner Durga Khatiwada have also been left out from the NRC Draft Exclusion list released on June 26, 2019.
I have sent a representation to Hon’ble CM Sarbananda Sonowal ji and also spoken to him over the phone regarding the matter. He has assured me that his government is committed to the welfare of the Gorkhas and will ensure that the Gorkha community do not face any hardship during the implementation of NRC.
It may be recalled that the Gorkha community was at the forefront during the Assam Agitation and many of them sacrificed their lives along with hundreds of other Assamese people in their quest to safeguard the state from illegal migrants.
As reported in several media outlets, there have been many cases of administrative lapses and many people from all cross sections of the society, and not just from the Gorkha community, have been missing from the published lists. Implementing NRC is important from our National Security perspective, and we have to understand that undertaking such a humongous task will have plenty of room for human error. However, CM Sonowal ji has assured me that the administration is fully being the Gorkhas, and that Gorkhas will be 100% protected.
For those with genuine documents and historical roots in the state, there is already a process in place to reapply and get their names added to the NRC list.
I also appeal to everyone not to panic and follow the process of application and corrections as per the rules.
I will also be writing to the Chief Justice of Supreme Court Justice Ranjan Gogoi ji under whose guidance the NRC exercise is being carried out and inform him of these obvious lapses in the data collection and interpretation processes. It may be recalled that on Nov 1st, 2018 Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had observed that “the Gorkhas are assets to the country’ and had instructed Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela to include the Gorkhas in NRC.
I request all social organizations and community leaders from the Assamese Gorkha society to bring forward any discrepancies in the process. We must keep on highlighting such issues, so that no Indian Gorkha is left out from the final NRC list.
At the same time, we must do our best to help the administration in implementing the NRC process smoothly.