<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the deadline for upgradation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam coming closer, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued notice to Chief Secretary of Assam after taking suo motu cognisance of allegations about people being harassed by police in the name of verification of their nationality.Earlier this year, the Supreme Court had directed Assam to publish of the draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) by March 31, 2018. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, however, announced that he would publish the draft by December 31, 2017.The NRC is meant to identify original residents of Assam to check illegal migration — primarily from Bangladesh.NHRC noted that due to the high influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, people of Bengali origin have been under scanner for years. Assam Government has set up Foreigners Tribunal to deal with the doubtful cases.Submitting that it did not want to intervene in the state or central government’s public policy, NHRC observed that in the name of verification, marginalised people are being subjected to harassment and humiliation, which amounts to violation of right to equality and dignity of the innocent victims.The NHRC is currently looking in to the case of Moinal Molla and his family — his parents, wife, children, brother and other extended relatives. Despite being Indians, Molla’s citizenship was rejected by the authorities. He spent more than two years in a detention centre. It was only after an intervention by the apex court he got justice, the NHRC said in its release.The rights body also stated that there are 89,395 people estimated as illegal immigrants in Assam till August, 2017 and more than 2,000 people are languishing in the detention centres across the state.Civil society organisations, including members of the Delhi Action Committee for Assam (DACA), Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, political analyst Hiren Gohain, Sitaram Yechury, Yogendra Yadav, etc, convened a meeting in Delhi to protest changing of certain norms in the process.Panchayat certificates, earlier used for verification in the NRC process, was struck down by Gauhati High Court this year. The Jamiat has approached the Supreme Court challenging the order.FiguresNHRC noted that there are 89,395 illegal migrants estimated in Assam till August, 2017. They also estimated that more than 2,000 people are languishing in the detention centres across the state.

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NHRC issues notice to Assam over verification for NRC