A recent demonstration in Silchar against Tinsukia massacre.
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Silchar: Citizen Rights Protection Co-ordination Committee (CRPCC), an umbrella body of rights activists in Assam, has demanded that the deadline for submission of claims and objections for National Register of Citizens (NRC) should be extended by at least two months.

CRPCC has raised the demand in view of the Panchayat elections that are scheduled to be held in Assam in two phases on 5 and 9 December and the counting is slated for 12 December.

Going by the latest Supreme Court directive, the present deadline for NRC claims and objection is 15 December.

CPRCC today met in Silchar to discuss the issues pertaining to NRC and the massacre of five Bengalis at Tinsukia recently.

The meeting concluded by adopting a couple of resolutions, prominent among them being, the demand for extension of deadline for NRC, accepting any of the 15 listed documents as self-sufficient proof of citizenship for NRC, irrespective of the date when they have been issued, and dropping the proposal for re-verification of names that have already found place in the draft NRC.

In a media statement issued after the meeting, president Tapodhir Bhattacharjee pointed out that since the state government offices have got engrossed in the process of Panchayat elections, people are facing difficulties in obtaining documents necessary for the filing of NRC claims.

In the districts, it’s the offices of the deputy commissioner, SDO, BDO, etc, who are to conduct the Panchayat elections. Again, it is these offices that are to issue copies of documents to people to allow them to apply for inclusion in the NRC.

With the model code of conduct for the elections already in force and the filing of nominations scheduled to start from 15 November, the officials have already got enmeshed in the election process. Given this, it will be almost impossible for people to obtain necessary documents so to file NRC claims, Bhattacharjee has explained.

CRPCC has objected to NRC state coordinator Pratik Hajela’s order that pre-1971 ration card will be accepted as a proof of citizenship only if it is supported by any one of the remaining 14 documents from the Supreme Court approved list.

Objection has also been raised against Hajela’s directive that the documents will be accepted only if they have been issued on or before 31 August 2015. This is a ploy to deprive the citizenship of 40-lakh people excluded in the draft NRC, CRPCC has maintained.

To press for removal of these clauses and against the punishment for culprits of Tinsukia massacre, CRPCC will take out a centralised mass rally in Silchar on 13 November.