Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday claimed in the Assembly that activist Pranab Doley, who was marked a ‘doubtful’ citizen in the police verification report during the renewal of his passport, did not respond to five notices sent by the police for checking his credentials. The issue has evoked widespread reaction mainly because of his community stature.
His surname ‘Doley’ clearly indicates his tribe – the indigenous Mising community. He was a contestant in the state poll earlier this year. CPI(M) lawmaker Manoranjan Talukdar raised the matter in Assam Assembly and said that it is unfortunate that Doley’s citizenship should be questioned. “I demand that immediate action be taken against the police officers who did this. While we are debating here about the rights of the indigenous people, Pranab Doley’s citizenship was questioned by the police,” he added.
Replying to this, Sarma, who also holds the Home portfolio, said that police did not mark ‘doubtful’ status for Doley in their report to the passport authorities. “Doley was served five notices to appear in the police station for the verification, but he did not come. So we wrote to the authorities concerned that he could not be verified,” he added.
The chief minister informed the House that he has already instructed the Golaghat district superintendent of police to call Doley again and complete the necessary verification if he really needs the passport. According to the letter sent by the passport office to Doley, his “nationality is doubtful as per a police verification report”.
The activist said he had applied for the renewal of his passport on April 7. Doley, who had contested on Anchalik Gana Morcha (AGM) ticket against the state Agriculture Minister Atul Bora in Bokakhat constituency in the state poll, was on Monday served a notice by the Regional Passport Office.
Doley who is a senior leader of Jeepal Krishak Sramik Sangha, a prominent peasant organization in Golaghat, said that he has been asked to give “proof of his citizenship” in person at the Regional Passport Office in Guwahati. He also claimed that his name had appeared in the National Register of Citizens published on August 31, 2019. Doley said it was a “tactic to silence him” as he often spoke out against the BJP-led government. AGM is part of the Congress-led ‘grand Alliance’ in the state.
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