Focus Area: Civil Rights
Region / State: Assam
Duration: Started in April 2016
Assam being a border state, sporadic cases of infiltration into the state from the neighboring country have been reported. The natural process of prevention of infiltration has now reached a stage that the bonafide Indian citizens whose ancestors have been living in the country for generations too are facing the threat of being branded as foreigner. This has now become a serious human rights issue in the north eastern state of Assam.
The so-called D-Voters who are Bengali speaking Muslims and Hindus in Assam are being branded as infiltrators, and are denied the fundamental right to participate in the democratic process of the country.
Scope of the Project
Concern and fear have already engrossed the citizens in Assam. They are apprehensive of being deported from the country as aliens. Those Indians, who have been living in the state since long, too have been targeted and are challenged to prove their citizenship. Those who are suspected by the authorities are now denied their voting right, categorizing them as ‘Doubted Voter’ (D-Voter). This issue ought to be addressed as a human rights issue.
The Goal is to ensure that the Indian citizens living in Assam are not ‘alienated’ in the name of infiltration. The project aims to repudiate the ‘D-Voter’ tag assigned on Indian citizens by the authorities and to reinforce their citizenship and civil rights by providing legal aid.
The location of this programme will be the state of Assam where this issue is focused.
The implementation of this initiative is carried out in association with NCHRO (National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations), a national level umbrella organization of human rights activists and organizations.
The project was kick started in April 2016 with a meeting of civil rights activists in Assam. All possible legal aids are given through the legal aid centers started for this purpose. Awareness programs are conducted, data collection is on and free legal aid and services to disprove the D-Voter tag are being provided to the victims. The activity is on full-fledged in Barpeta, Goalpara, South Kamrup, Udalguri, and Karimganj districts.
Legal experts and professionals are required to effectively handle this issue. Volunteers will form the work force on the ground.