NEW DELHI: Denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic communities will be at a significant risk if the government goes ahead with the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), said activists. With the lack of documents, they would be further pushed to the fringes, they added.
“The Renke Commission report had conducted a rapid survey. The findings showed that over 50 per cent of the denotified tribes (DNT) lacked any kind of documents including ration cards. 98 per cent of the people were landless, and 72 per cent had no address. In NRC, if over 50 per cent people cannot produce documents, among them the Muslim population will be at a greater risk,” said B Renke who headed the National Renke Commission which submitted its report in 2008.
“They are without documents...They will be completely at a loss. Where will they get the documents from? And their numbers are very large,” said G N Devy, chaiperson, government-appointed technical advisory group for DNT in 2006. The Renke Commission had recommended that DNTs be given 10 per cent reservation in government jobs even if the total reservation exceeds 50 per cent. With low literacy rate among the DNTs, the onus proving their citizenship would be difficult for the communities, said activists.
“It will be a challenge for the Muslim population among the DNTs to produce papers to prove their citizenship. There probably will be no other way apart from them being sent off to detention centres. Also among Hindu DNTs, there are problems with their names in different set of documents. This would not match their forefathers’ documents,” said Pallavi Renke, president, Lokdhara, a national alliance for DNTs.