Suspension of Aadhaar enrolment demand raised during Covid-19 Crisis: Meghalaya

“I strongly urge you to kindly suspend the Aadhaar enrolment in the district on the ground that the current pandemic situation does not permit us citizens to gather in large numbers in public and private spaces...,” MPCA member, Rev Kynsaibor Pyrtuh

Shillong: The Meghalaya Peoples’ Committee on Aadhaar (MPCA) has demanded an immediate halt of the ongoing Aadhaar enrolment in Meghalaya while pointing out that this enrolment drive during the COVID-19 pandemic is exposing the people to unnecessary danger.

“I strongly urge you to kindly suspend the Aadhaar enrolment in the district on the ground that the current pandemic situation does not permit us citizens to gather in large numbers in public and private spaces…,” MPCA member, Rev Kynsaibor Pyrtuh said in a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of West Jaintia Hills, Garod LSN Dykes.

This also came as a reaction to local reports that people have to queue up for 2 to 3 nights to get Aadhaar enrolment in the district.

Referring to a photograph regarding the incident, Pyrtuh said the picture is evident that all health and safety protocols are thrown to the wind.

Stating that this does not bode well for the safety of the people, Rev Pyrtuh said, “It is imperative on the government not to burden the people and the citizens with identification and authentication system like Aadhaar.”

“Rather the Government should ease out by allowing people to use simple and alternate modes of identification like Epic Card, Ration Card, Certification by village or clan head or school certificate or baptistmal or birth certificates,” he suggested.

Rev Pyrtuh further stated that the people of the state are citizens of the country and they cannot be denied and deprived of their basic rights and entitlements for want of Aadhaar.

“That during this pandemic every person needs help and care. The same can be done compassionately by not pushing people through the rigorous system of identification and authentication. Section 7 of the Aadhaar Act is only an enabling provision, not a limiting one. In other words, it is not only those who have enrolled in the Aadhaar scheme who will be entitled to benefits, but in fact even those who have not enrolled are rightfully entitled and they cannot be denied and deprived of their rights. Reading through the Supreme Court judgement one clearly shows that Aadhaar is voluntary,” he added.

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