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GNC to move dist admin on “non-inclusion” of border residents

GUWAHATI: The Garo National Council (GNC), along with at least five other organisations representing the Garo community, will seek intervention of the Goalpara district administration in the matter of “non-inclusion” of a sizeable number of residents of villages along the Assam-Meghalaya border in the complete draft National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Sources in Goalpara said there are 323 villages along the border near Meghalaya, mainly inhabited by people from the Garo community.

“Most of them are Garo men (sons in-law) from Meghalaya who have moved to Assam after marriage but do not find their names in the draft NRC as they do have the requisite documents or legacy data of 1951 to prove their citizenship,” Thengsil Sangma, the president of the Assam unit of GNC, told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.

Villages such as Hatighopa under Balijana development block and Bhalukdubi near Goalpara town are among the 323 hamlets where “over 75 per cent of Garo people has been excluded” from the complete draft NRC published on July 30.

The organisations supporting the GNC in its endeavour to get the names of these inhabitants enrolled in the NRC through the claims and objections process are Garo National Union, Garo Students Union, All A’chik Youth Federation, A’chik Students Youth Federation  of India and the All Garo Gaonburah Association.

“We will meet the Goalpara deputy commissioner (Barnali Deka) on Thursday and request her to intervene in the claims process. The respective Nokmas (headmen) of the villages can give certificates to these villagers who can thereafter claim their citizenship,” Sangma said.

It may be mentioned that many Khasi residents of Barak Valley too do not find their names in the NRC draft, a fact which had come to light during a KSU-AASU meeting last month.

The students unions had committed to take up the matter thereafter even as the Cachar district administration assured that if they submit their documents supporting citizenship there was “no question of non-inclusion in the draft.

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