NLSA directive to Assam legal body for ‘D’ voters


Guwahati, July 26: The National Legal Services Authority has directed the Assam State Legal Services Authority to provide assistance to people who had been declared ‘D’ voters or were facing trial in Foreigners Tribunals in the state.
‘D’ or doubtful voters were people who were disenfranchised during electoral roll revision for their alleged lack of proper citizenship credentials.
According to Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, the directive about providing assistance to the affected people, in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Services Authorities Act, was issued in a letter dated July 17.
He claimed that it was issued in response to letters written by him in which he had highlighted the alleged harassment faced by several people who were prosecuted as foreign nationals despite having strong documentary evidence of Indian citizenship.
He welcomed the directive and expressed hope that the Assam State Legal Service Authority would provide assistance to people, besides the family of former deputy speaker of the Assam Assembly, Maulana Amiruddin, who were allegedly harassed despite possessing valid documents to prove their citizenship.
Saikia had written to the NLSA after visiting detention camps at Goalpara, Kokrajhar and Cachar in the last couple of years and collecting data from the inmates while interacting with them.
He had also visited areas like Morigaon and Udalguri and undertaken a similar exercise there.
In a press release issued here, Saikia claimed he highlighted the plight of genuine Indian citizens persecuted as foreign nationals.
He sought steps to alleviate their misery in letters to the president, the prime minister, the union home minister, the registrar general of India and census commissioner among others. (PTI)