Re-verification notices are causing panic and distress in Assam

Thousands of re-verification notices have been served in lower Assam summoning people for hearings, virtually overnight, in places as far as 400 kilometers away. Poor access and transportation have rendered this latest move by the NRC authorities callous and brutal, in addition to being in clear violation of the July 23 order of the Supreme Court, that turned down the state and centre’s demand for re-verification.

Reports of such large-scale notices being served have been surfacing since the night of Saturday, August 3. Not only is the number of these notices extremely high but the modus operandi is worse; the notices compel persons and entire families to travel hundreds of kilometres away to upper Assam at a day’s notice.

“My family members have been called in for hearing in three separate places on the same day! We are confused about which of us should attend which hearing and at which location especially as for each hearing we need to be accompanied by witnesses! Hundreds of Assam’s genuine citizens were shocked to find themselves served with notices late on Sunday evening (August 4) summoned to attend hearings 600-700 kilometres away on Monday! Is it possible for them to attend hearings at a NRC centre which is 600 to 700 km far from their home? This is unnecessary harassment for the poor people.”