Hyderabad: Urging the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to refuse data collection for National Population Register in the State, Women Alliance Against NPR, a women’s group protesting CAA, NRC and NPR urged him to pass a resolution to that effect in the State Assembly.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday, members of the alliance not only demanded that the police be stopped from interfering in peaceful protests against NPR anywhere in the State, but also withdraw cases filed so far with regard to the protests.
Activists including M Vimala, K Sajaya, V Sandhya, Rama Malkote, Sarah Mathews, Rafia Nausheen and others addressed the press conference. They called it extremely unfortunate that any expression of protest and dissent in Telangana are being suppressed with deliberate intent, despite the fact that Telangana State itself is a product of vibrant protests.
Wondering why protests against CAA were being stamped out, even while a resolution has been passed against it by the Assembly, Prof. Rama Malkote said “It reflected the Chief Minister’s intolerance against any voice other than his”. She added “The information collected through NPR will be used for NRC and there will be an opportunity created to discriminate on the basis of caste, colour, creed, religion and gender.”
Calling it a prelude to NRC, Ms.Sajaya urged CM to stop NPR. She said inability to provide citizenship documents can lead the enumerator to mark the Nationality as ‘doubtful’.
Pointing out that several states such as Kerala, West Bengal, and Punjab have already passed resolutions against NPR, Ms Nausheen said Telangana government should follow suit.
Jasween Jairath said: “The CM passed a resolution against CAA and we want him to pass a resolution against NPR and NRC too. The NPR exercise is a backdoor entry for NRC. It is taking away the democratic rights of the citizen through the Constitution.”
The women vowed to continue to resist and said they will garner more support against it.
Calling NPR a strategy to disempower politically inconvenient segments of the society through disenfranchisement, the women said it would legally deprive socio-economically weaker sections of society. The process would lead to chaos and many citizens’ rights will be taken away in the name of population census and illegality of status, they added.