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New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Assam, after taking suo motu cognizance of the allegations reported in the media about the harassment of  the people by police in the name of verification of their nationality in the state.

Due to the illegal immigration from Bangladesh to Assam, the people belonging to Bengali origin are reportedly under scanner for years and the Assam Government has set up Foreigners’ Tribunals to deal with the doubtful cases.

The Commission has observed that it has carefully perused and examined the contents of the news report, carried on October 31, 2017. The steps taken to identify the suspect cases of illegal immigration and setting up of Foreigners’ Tribunals is a policy perspective of the government and it would not like to intervene in that matter but the allegations that in the name of verification, the poor people are being subjected to harassment and humiliation is a matter of concern for the Commission as it amounts to violation of right to equality and dignity of the innocent victims, according to an NHRC release.

According to the media report, there are detention centres in Assam, where the people, under scanner, are lodged in two categories, Bangladeshis and D-voters. In many cases, once a person is declared an Indian citizen, he is again served notice by police. It is further mentioned that at the time of hearing, the subjects are not allowed to wear their shoes and have to enter barefoot inside the Court while the government officers and advocates are exempted, according to the NHRC release.

A specific case of one Moinal Molla has been mentioned in the media report. His parents, wife, children, brother and rest of the family are Indians and still his citizenship was rejected by the authorities. He spent more than two years at a detention centre. It was only after the intervention by the Apex Court, the justice was done in his case.

As mentioned in the report, there were 89,395 people estimated as illegal immigrants in Assam till August, 2017, and currently there are more than 2,000 people languishing at the detention centers across the state, who are allegedly being subjected to discrimination.

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