Welcoming the Home Minister’s assurance in Parliament that nobody needed to be apprehensive of the NPR, that no document would be asked for during the exercise that begins on April 1 and that nobody would be marked as ‘Doubtful’ citizen, activists today called upon Amit Shah to walk the talk.
Since there is a law in existence that says NPR is the first step to NRIC and which authorises enumerators to identify people as ‘Doubtful’ citizens, the law needs to be amended by the Government, the activists said.
The Home Minister, in case he is serious, should have no difficulty in amending the law and notifying it, they emphasisesd.
The exercise to collect data for the National Population Register begins next month and enumerators will start visiting houses to record the data. Under the law, government employees cannot refuse to take part in the exercise and citizens cannot refuse to part with information, if asked by enumerators. If they refuse, the refusal will be recorded under the rules, which also provide for penalty in such an eventuality.
Therefore, it is important for the Home Minister to reassure people by amending the relevant rules incorporated in the Citizenship Act of 2003, the activists maintained. It should be a formal notification and not an informal and oral assurance by the Home Minister, they said at a press conference they addressed in the capital on Saturday.