“Extend NRC deadline; Avoid citizenship disaster”: Popular Front urges SC to extend deadline

The Central Secretariat meeting of Popular Front of India has sought urgent measures by the Supreme Court of India to avoid colossal citizenship disaster that has affected millions of people in Assam whose names have been excluded from National Citizens Register (NRC).

The deadline set by the Supreme Court for filing claims and objections is 31 December, 2018. Yet, out of 40 lakh people excluded from the final draft of NRC, only around 20 lakh are reported to have filed claims and objections so far. As admitted even by the NRC Coordinator before the Supreme Court itself, the major reason for this low level response is the complicated requirements sought for filing their claims. There are reports from the ground that NRC centres are putting the applicants to troubles in the name of legacy documents. It is certain that the about 20 lakh people that remain excluded from the list can in no way file their claims within next 5 days. The meeting apprehended that in case the date for filing is not extended, these many citizens will not be able to participate in the next Lok Sabha election.

Sadly even our opposition parties are not seriously raising the issue in the parliament. There are unscrupulous parties and groups that want to draw the political benefit out of such a colossal tragedy. But it will be totally against our principles of citizenship enshrined in our constitution. And it is the hope of the nation that the apex court will not let such an injustice happen. We urge the Supreme Court of India to simply the process and extend the deadline for filing claims to another six months.

Chairman E Abubacker presided over the meeting, which was attended by General Secretary M Muhammed Ali Jinnah, Vice Chairman OMA Salam, Secretary Abdul Wahid Sait, K M Shareef and EM Abdul Rahiman.

Dr. Muhammed Shamoon
Director, Public Relations
Popular Front of India Head Quarters
New Delhi