CJI defends Assam NRC

CJI defends Assam NRC
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Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Sunday strongly defended the current exercise of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, saying prior to it there was "guesswork" on the number of illegal immigrants in the state that "had fuelled panic, fear and vicious cycle of lawlessness and violence" and it would be a base document for future.

New Delhi : Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Sunday strongly defended the current exercise of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, saying prior to it there was "guesswork" on the number of illegal immigrants in the state that "had fuelled panic, fear and vicious cycle of lawlessness and violence" and it would be a base document for future.

Justice Gogoi, who is heading an apex court bench which is monitoring the process of NRC in Assam, was also critical of "arm chair commentators" who, he said, are not only far away from the ground reality but also present a highly distorted picture due to which Assam and its development agenda have taken a hit.

The CJI, who hails from Assam, said that NRC is neither a "new or a novel idea" as it found expression as early as in 1951 and the current exercise is an attempt to update the 1951 NRC. "The NRC is not without contestations.

Let me take this occasion to clarify. The NRC is not a new nor a novel idea. It founds expression as early as in the year 1951 and in particular context of Assam in year 1985 when the Assam accord was signed.

In fact, the current NRC is an attempt to update the 1951 NRC," said Justice Gogoi, who was addressing a gathering here during inauguration of book 'Post Colonial Assam (1947-2019)' authored by veteran journalist Mrinal Talukdar.

He said that prior to this exercise enormous amount of guesswork was there regarding number of illegal immigrants which "in turn fuelled panic, fear and vicious cycle of lawlessness and violence". He lamented that "careless" and "irresponsible reporting by a few media outlet only worsened the situation."

"There was an urgent need to ascertain some degree of ascertaining on the number of illegal immigrants which the current exercise envisages. Nothing more and nothing less.

The entire exercise is nothing but manifestation of one of the most peaceful means by which stake holders seeks to remedy the wrong and omissions of that turbulence whose effects changed the course of the life of not only individuals but of communities and culture across the region," he said.

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