Bengal activists begin hunger strike, don’t buy Shah’s claim made in the parliament

Social activists associated with anti-NRC movement site government Gazette to debunk Amit Shah's claim of no citizen being marked as doubtful during NPR exercise

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Kolkata: At the time when Home Minister Amit Shah, was giving a speech on the doubts raised by fellow Parliamentarians at the Rajya Sabha, the anti-Nation Register for Citizenship (NRC), National Population Register (NPR) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protesters on road was not buying his claims and infact in Kolkata, the agitation has intensified.

As April is approaching, so no citizen was ready to believe home minister’s words, and Joint Forum Against NRC along with United Forum For National Integrity have started relay hunger strike against NPR exercise at Raja Bazar (Shiren Bagh) protest site, from March 12.

Despite Mamata Banerjee, declaring that NPR would not be implemented in Bengal, the protesters demanding more than a mere stay order from their Didi.

Speaking to eNewsroom, Prasenjit Bose, convenor of Joint Forum Against NRC said, “We (Joint Forum Against NRC and United Forum for National Integrity) have initiated a relay hunger strike from today, at Raja Bazar Dharna site. We will continue this hunger strike till NPR updation from April 1, 2020, is stopped. We also want NPR to be de-linked from Census 2021.”

Speaking about the relay hunger strike, Manzar Jameel, an active participant of the anti-NRC Movement and member of the forum said, “We are doing this to stir the administration out of their indifference and intensify our protests by using Gandhian principle. From Raja Bazar’s Shireen Bagh we want to draw the attention of the central and state government to stop NPR, which is the first step for NRC, which is both a discriminatory and arbitrary law, which divides the nation on the religious line. We want the Bengal government to reject NPR and not just continue with the temporary stay put on NPR by the CM.”

The protesters have even submitted a memorandum to Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, explaining their grounds for opposing NPR.

On being asked about Shah’s statement in the Parliament, about no one being marked doubtful, Bose said, “As per the Citizenship Rules 2003, identification of doubtful citizens and asking for their documents are subsequent steps, which will happen only after the implementation of NPR, which is the first step of NRC. Amit Shah is trying to fool the people by confusing them.”

Adding to that Jameel said, “Both the Home Minister and the Prime Minister are on a deceiving spree. There has been overwhelming opposition to NPR, NRC and CAA across India, hence Shah has stated today that no documents need to submit during NPR implementation. He even added that there would be no doubtful citizens. We need to be careful as these statements are deceitful. We need to believe the government documents which are in the public domain, declaring that NPR is the first step to NRC.” He then added, “If he genuinely means what he said today, then his government should amend CAA to include all religious denominations and neighbouring countries without classifications.”

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In recent times, people-centric journalism is being done mostly by independent digital media. These organizations run on public support. Founded in 2017, eNewsroom India has been doing meaningful stories for over four years now. We practice ‘Old School Journalism’ and focus on under-reported stories from Bengal, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan regularly. Our opinion pieces come from across the country.

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