A Gorkha organisation on Sunday alleged that the National Register of Citizens had insulted those killed in the Assam Agitation and families of freedom fighters by keeping them out of the register, PTI reported. The Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh expressed their displeasure after Sahitya Akademi awardee Durga Khatiwada along with the family members of Baijyanti Devi, the first woman killed during Assam Agitation, were excluded from the National Register of Citizens.
“Khatiwada holds 1951 National Register of Citizens of his father as legacy,” PTI quoted Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh National Secretary Nanda Kirati Dewan as saying. “Although names of all his family members’ have been included in the National Register of Citizens, he was excluded.” Dewan said that Khatiwada, the president of Assam Nepali Sahitya, was named in the Exclusion list released by the authorities on June 26.
He added that Manju Devi, the great-granddaughter of freedom fighter Chabilal Upadhyay, had also been excluded from the National Register of Citizens. “Manju Devi, who was the founder of Congress party in Assam, has also been left out despite having shown proven lineage,” Dewan said.
Devi was told that she had been marked with a ‘D’ or doubtful voter in 2005 due to which her name along with the names of her son and daughters were excluded. She has filed a right to information query on the matter, received a clearance certificate from the Sonitpur superintendent of police and also submitted a copy to the election department but to no avail, PTI quoted Dewan as saying.
Father of Baijyanti Devi, who was killed during Assam Agitation, Amar Upadhyay said that names of his grandchildren and their mother had been added to the exclusion list. In 1979, the Assam Agitation that went on for six years over identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was started by the All Assam Students Union. It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985, in the presence of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
“It is a blot in the history of the anti-foreigner movement of Assam that the family of the first woman martyr of the Assam Agitation has been left out of the NRC,” Assam Tribune quoted Prakash Dahal, general secretary of the Assam State committee of Bharatiya Gorkha Parisangh, as saying. “It should be corrected without causing any harassment to the concerned family and the issue should be resolved on or before the last date of publication of the final NRC. Otherwise, the NRC exercise would lose credibility and its accuracy will always remain in doubt.”
The Gorkha organisation said that the three cases will be taken to Supreme Court if they were not resolved. It has requested all the concerned National Register of Citizen seva kendras to provide certified copies with the reasons of exclusion, Assam Tribune reported.