The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has asked the government to issue photo identity cards to the 3.11 crore people who have been included in Assam’s updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was released on August 31.The party cited the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, to raise this demand.Some NGOs and political leaders in the State have felt the need for some kind of ‘NRC-included’ proof, especially for daily-wagers who move to other States for work. One of the reasons is a drive against “foreigners” in the States adjoining Assam after the release of the final NRC.In Meghalaya, for instance, some students and tribal organisations have been raiding factories in a bid to drive out those without proper citizenship credentials. At least 30 labourers from Assam were asked to leave an industrial estate in Meghalaya’s West Khasi Hills district.“An identity card has become essential for people included in the NRC, particularly in a communally-charged atmosphere. But the authorities should issue such cards after correcting the clerical errors,” CPI(M) State secretary Deben Bhattacharyya said.There have been several instances of data entry errors with names misspelt and genders changed.The CPI(M) also sought an ‘entirely judicial’ process for handling the cases of the more than 19 lakh people excluded from the NRC.“The excluded are to be tried in the quasi-judicial Foreigners’ Tribunals. They should ideally be tried in a transparent judicial system and the government should ensure the poor among them are provided legal help,” Mr. Bhattacharyya said.
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