Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday slammed the government over the issue of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, shortly after the government introduced a bill to amend the Protection of Human Rights Act in the Lok Sabha. Raising the issue, the Thiruvananthapuram MP alleged that at least 57 people committed suicide in Assam after being left out from from NRC list.
Speaking in the Lower House of the Parliament, “I have received a confirmed list of people where 57 people have committed suicide because NRC has excluded them, ironically, few of these people are Hindus.” The leader, while calling the bill “cosmetic”, further hit out at the government on arrests of lawyers Indira Jaisingh and Anand Grover recently.
Raising the issue of both lawyers, the Congress MP said it was ironic that a discussion on strengthening the Human Rights Act is being held just days after the international commission of jurists condemned the government’s “attempt” to strike down two senior advocates who have been at the forefront to defend rights of vulnerable sections of the society.
He also slammed the arrest of activist Sudha Bharadwaj last year, while accusing the government of letting wilful defaulters flee the country. “When Harvard Law School was honouring lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, our government was busy arresting her. While the government did not do anything to stop wilful defaulters from running away from the country, they were desperate to offload an activist from the plane only to be slammed by the Delhi High Court.
Earlier, Union minister Nityanand Rai introduced The Protection of Human Rights (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration in the Lok Sabha. In the meantime, the Centre and the Assam government has urged the Supreme Court to extend the deadline to publish final consolidated National Register of Citizens (NRC) by a month. In its plea, both the Centre and the state government said lakhs of people could have been included wrongfully because of local factors as also ongoing floods.