November 22, 2017

Harassing people in the name of nationality verification: Assam Govt

National Human Rights Commission

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had issued a notice to the state government of Assam against reported allegations of harassment by the police; in the name of verification of their nationality.

NHRC took cognizance, after reports surfaced in media that there are detention centres in the State of Assam, where the people under scanner are lodged in two categories; Bangladeshis and D-voters.

According to reports, once a person is declared an Indian citizen, he/she is again served notice by the police. At the time of hearing, the subjects are not allowed to wear their shoes and they have to enter barefoot, inside the Court, while the government officers and advocates are exempted.

While observing that illegal immigration and setting up of Foreigners’ Tribunals is a state policy and that the NHRC would not like to interfere; but it expressed concern over the incidents of harassment and humiliation of poor people in the hands of police and state government machineries.

According to an estimate, there were 89,395 people living as illegal immigrants in Assam till August, 2017 and currently there are more than 2,000 people languishing in the detention centers across the state; who are allegedly being subjected to discrimination.

The newspapers reported a case of Moinal Molla; whose parents, wife, children, brother and rest of the family are Indians but his citizenship got rejected by the authorities.

Molla spent more than two years at a detention centre and the Supreme Court had to intervene to see that justice was done.

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