Noting the emerging situation in Assam state arising out of the National Register of Citizens process, a leading human rights organization has urged the Government of India and the Assam Government to “uphold their constitutional obligations to assure the safety and security of all, without fear or favour”.
“The eyes of the country and many abroad are on India as we navigate these complex and challenging tasks with firmness and dignity, while protecting the rights of the poor, weak and vulnerable,” said a statement issued today by the Executive Committee of the India headquarters of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI).
The following is the text of the statement:
Reports from Assam state speak of deep anxieties and confusion over the run-up to the publication of the second draft of the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) and the possible fallout thereof. The NRC has been an ongoing process and has emerged as a key political, cultural and social issue in Assam. We have seen articles and broadcasts in the media which have been tendentious and stoke fears and tension especially in terms of majority versus minority and urge the media to report with balance and a sense of proportion.
We urge the Government of India to uphold its international obligations including to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDR) to which it is a signatory as well as its constitutional mandate and the Assam Government to provide for the safety and security of all, without fear or favour.
We also urge CSOs, student and other literary, cultural and professional associations to bear in mind Article 21 of the Constitution which declares that “No person shall be deprived of his life of liberty except by due process.”
The eyes of the country and many abroad are on us as we navigate these complex and challenging tasks with firmness and dignity, while protecting the rights of the poor, weak and vulnerable.
Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman
Sanjoy Hazarika, International Director
Maja Daruwala, Senior Advisor
Justice A P Shah, former chief Justice of Delhi High Court
Dr. Poonam Muthreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India
Vineeta Rai, (retd) IAS, former Secretary to the Government of India
Jayanto N. Chourdhury, (retd) IPS, former DG, National Security guard
Nitin Desai, (Retd IAS), former Secretary to Government of India
Kamal Kumar (Retd) IPS, former Director, National Police Academy
Ms. Nidhi Razdan, Editor, NDTV
BK Chandrasekhar, former MLC, Karnataka
Jacob Punnoose, (Retd) IPS, former DGP, Kerala