Guwahati, January 13, 2020:

Over 5,500 people have signed an online petition requesting the Chief Ministers of all states to reject the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

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The campaign was being carried out on the community welfare campaign portal Change.org. The initiative was taken up by Peaceful People Action Solidarity Group, saying that the exercise carries the threat of being misused for racial and religious profiling of citizens.

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The ‘concept note’ of the petition, it says, “The implementation of the NRC in Assam has been a failed exercise. It was traumatic and expensive for everyone involved, more so for the underprivileged; they had to sell their meagre assets like auto-rickshaws, livestock and orchards, mortgaged their lands to obtain documents, and many of those who were unable to produce the required documents (to prove citizenship) were put in detention centres, where the conditions are so dire that several adults and children have died.” The petition also requests the Chief Justice of India to reject the same.

It is to be mentioned here that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is planning to prepare the country-wide NRC, supposedly with the information to be furnished during the NPR exercise, which is being seen as a ‘pre-NRC’.

The petition says, “The NPR can be an extremely traumatic experience especially for the country’s disadvantaged including the poor, minorities, women, Adivasis, homeless, and transgender people, etc. People will be forced to go through enormous hardship to prove that they are citizens in the midst of the worst economic crisis in India.”

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The demand for rejection of the NRC and NPR came amid the ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 across the country which has been officially implemented from January 10, this year.

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