Explain ‘communal statements’ by NRC coordinator, SC asks Assam

Explain ‘communal statements’ by NRC coordinator, SC asks Assam

SC Bench issues notices to the Centre and Assam government on various petitions on the issue asking them to respond in four weeks.

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 6

Amid allegations that the new Assam NRC Coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma made anti-immigrants comments, the Supreme Court Monday asked Assam government to explain his alleged communal statements.

“He should not be saying all this. You (Assam government) have to explain this,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said after senior advocate Kapil Sibal brought Sarma’s alleged statements to the court’s notice on behalf of an NGO which sought removal of the Assam NRC coordinator for his alleged comments against Bengali Muslims and Rohingyas.

On behalf of Assam government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the NRC exercise was over and there was no role left for the state NRC coordinator.

The Bench issued notices to the Centre and the Assam government on various petitions on the issue asking them to respond in four weeks.

The Centre told the top court that children will not be sent to detention centres. “I cannot conceive of children being sent to detention centres and being separated from their families. Children whose parents have been granted citizenship will not be sent to detention centres,” Attorney General KK Venugopal told the Bench which also included Justice BR Gavai and Justice Surya Kant.

“Mr K K Venugopal, Attorney General for India, states that the children of parents, who have been given citizenship through NRC, will not be separated from their parents and sent to detention centre in Assam pending decision of this application,” it recorded.

The Attorney General’s statement came after a petition highlighted that around 60 children had been excluded from NRC but their parents had been granted citizenship through NRC.

The Final Draft NRC list was published on July 30 last year in which 2.89 crore names out of the 3.29 crore people were included while 40,70,707 people failed to make it to the list. Of those left out 37,59,630 names had been rejected and the remaining 2,48,077 were put on hold.

Thereafter, a massive exercise with regard to claims and objections was also undertaken under the supervision of the top court to decide the fate of those left out or wrongly included.

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