Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), a New Delhi-based human rights organisation, has urged the central government of India and the Assam government to “uphold their constitutional obligations to ensure the safety and security of all, without fear or favour.”
Reports from Assam state speak of deep anxieties and confusion over the run-up to the publication of the second draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the possible fallout thereof. The NRC has been an ongoing process and has emerged as a key political, cultural and social issue in Assam, the CHRI said in a press statement on Wednesday.
The CHRI said they had seen articles and broadcasts in the media which had been tendentious and stoke fears and tension especially in terms of majority versus minority and urge the media to report with balance and a sense of proportion.
CHRI, which is committed to protecting and promoting human rights in Commonwealth nations, mentioned that the emerging situation in Assam state arose out of the NRC process.
“The eyes of the country and many abroad are on India as we navigate these complex and challenging tasks with firmness and dignity, while protecting the rights of the poor, weak, and vulnerable,” said the statement.
The CHRI also urged the government of India to uphold its international obligations, including to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which it is a signatory as well as its constitutional mandate and the Assam government to provide for the safety and security of all without fear and favour.
It also urged CSOs, student and other literary, cultural and professional associations to bear in mind Article 21 of the constitution which declares that “No person shall be deprived of his life of liberty except by due process.”