Student leader Veewon Thokchom, who is a former president and now advisor to Manipur Students’ Association Delhi, was critical of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and was very vocal about his opinions on the same on social media. The Manipur Police alleged Veewon for spreading “provocative messages” regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which led to protests in Imphal, Manipur. A local court in Delhi issued the transit remand to a team of Manipur police against which Veewon’s brother filed an appeal in the Delhi High Court. After hearing the appeal, Justice Sunil Gaur dismissed the plea challenging Veewon’s transit remand order.
As per information made available by the Government of Assam, a total of 2764, 4223 and 2005 persons in the year 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively have been referred to the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) during last three years. MoS in his reply added that those persons were referred to the Foreigners Tribunals to ascertain whether they are Indians or Foreigners in terms of the provisions contained in the Foreigners (Tribunal) Order 1964. Thus, a total of 8992 persons have been referred to FTs in last 3 years.
In his PIL, Harsh Mander has highlighted human rights violations of detainees held presently in six detention centres/prisons in Assam, either because they have been declared as foreigners by one of the one-hundred Foreigners Tribunals in Assam or after serving out their sentence for illegally entering India, detained pending deportation. To buttress his claim, petitioner has relied upon the findings of the deplorable conditions in Assam detention centres, prepared as a report for the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by the petitioner, as Minorities Monitor at NHRC.
The thumping majority with which the 124th Amendment was passed is a sign of the times. The issue of reservation has always remained a sore one with battle lines drawn out for years. However, the elephant in the room so to speak is that those who have suffered for centuries, by being in the margins, have no other way to become part of the mainstream. Reservation ought to emancipate, it ought to build bridges but even today — it is simply widening the gap. Join me as I take a deep and long look at the recently passed 124th Amendment to the Constitution of India and its impact on the Criminal Tribes.
We would like to reiterate the request that the Congress Party consider the inclusion of repeal of Section 124A in its 2019 election manifesto. I hope that State Governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Puducherry and Karnataka will also be urged to take immediate steps for its repeal through State Amendments in order to send a salutary signal to the present Union Government and the BJP ruled states that harassing citizens for exercising their democratic right to question the government and its agencies goes against the idea of India.
All the activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case are left-leaning lawyers, academics and organic intellectuals who are extremely popular among the Dalit-Bahujan communities in Maharashtra and also in other states, because of the stellar work they have been doing over the years. The two sets of arrests — on June 6, 2018 and on August 28, 2018 — were based on one FIR filed on January 8, 2018. Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson as well as Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Vara Vara Rao, were arrested, while attempts to arrest Anand Teltumbde didn't succeed, and Gautam Navlakha was granted relief by Delhi High Court. While a 5000-page chargesheet has been filed, the glaring inconsistencies in the document will go down as a huge a blot on Indian democracy.
A two-judge bench comprising the Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton F Nariman extended the date of filing claims and objections in response to draft NRC from December 15, 2018 to December 31, 2018. The Assam Government filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking an extension of one month for receiving claims and objections in response to draft NRC.
Excluded names do not belong to a single community or religion, these are a combination of communities — both Muslims and Hindus of Bengali descent, besides Hindi and Nepalese-speaking persons, as well as tribals — with high percentages comprising women, children and daily wage workers having little or no formal education. The glaring lapses in the exercise being undertaken in Assam and the lack of rationality in the exclusion of individuals, stand as a warning bell for any similar process to be implemented in any other part of the country.
The overarching challenge to Section 6A of the Citizenship Act, 1955 itself is currently pending adjudication before a five-judge Constitution Bench, raising a total 13 questions and striking at the root of the Assam Accord 1985. The policy prerogative of the Union Government to either grant or withdraw citizenship to any class of persons will inevitably come under the scanner. The stand of the Union must shift from divisive electoral rhetoric and be subjected to the constitutional test.