RIBHU RANJAN | 9 OCTOBER, 2018
Petition heard by 3-Judge Bench
The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the central government on a public interest litigation filed by the Tripura People’s Front, seeking that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) be updated to include Tripura.
A three-judge bench led by newly appointed Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi heard the petition.
The petition emphasised the need for updating the NRC for Tripura, saying that it was necessary to identify and deport illegal immigrants living in the state. “The presence of illegal immigrants violates the political rights of the citizens of Tripura,” it said.
The petition specifically mentioned that the “uncontrolled influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh to Tripura has caused huge demographic changes” in the state. “Indigenous people who were once the majority have now become a minority in their own land,” it said.
The petition argues that judicial intervention is necessary for the conservation and preservation of the distinct culture and traditions of Tripura’s indigenous people, in accordance with India's commitments to several United Nations international conventions.
The petitioners demanded that Foreigners Tribunals be set up and illegal immigrants be deported.
The Citizen spoke to the CPI(M)’s Jitendra Chaudhary, member of parliament from Tripura-East, who said, “Tripura is one of the states that has been grossly affected by the infiltration of immigrants, due to the partition and even afterwards. Demographic change in Tripura is more than in Assam.”
He further said that as a citizen of India, he had no objection to an NRC. “Why only Tripura, NRC should happen in the entire country.” For the northeastern region, specifically Tripura, he believes the cut-off date for counting someone as a legal immigrant should be March 24, 1971, and that no genuine citizen of India should be harassed, unlike in Assam.