Congress MPs Manickam Tagore and Manish Tewari on Wednesday gave adjournment notices to discuss the delay in census exercise and the issue of eight former Indian Navy personnel on death row in Qatar.
In his notice in the Lok Sabha, Tagore, who is the MP from Tamil Nadu’s Virudhu Nagar, said, “I hereby give notice of my intention to ask for leave to move a motion for the adjournment of the business of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent importance, namely — to discuss about the abnormal intentional delay of the Central government for mitigating census exercise and to direct the government to initiate steps for the census process immediately without further delay.”
Tagore said that was a matter of utmost importance that directly impacted the nation’s governance and the well-being of its citizens. “The Census 2021 was initially postponed due to the severe COVID outbreaks in 2019 and later it has been subject to abnormal and intentional delays. The Central government, citing various reasons such as the availability of population projections based on Census 2011 data and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, has continuously deferred the commencement of field activities for Census.
“In March 2022, certain amendments to Census Rules were notified, allowing citizens to self-enumerate themselves in the Census and the National Population Register (NPR). Despite this, the actual initiation of the census has been further delayed. The Office of the Registrar General of India announced in January this year that the freezing of administrative boundaries had been extended to July 1, 2023, pushing the commencement of the census well into 2024. But due to impending general elections in 2024, the process would not be initiated in 2024 also.
“This intentional delay in conducting the census is becoming a significant hurdle in understanding the actual needs of our people. It has resulted in the failure of implementing various schemes and plans designed to cater to the specific requirements of our diverse population. As responsible citizens, we cannot overlook the adverse effects this delay may have on policy making, resource allocation, and the overall development of our nation, ” the Congress MP said.
“Therefore, I urge this august House to have a discussion regarding the urgent need for conducting the census immediately. The timely completion of the census is crucial for accurate data collection, which in turn is essential for effective governance and the successful implementation of government programs.
Tewari gave the adjournment notice to have a discussion regarding the retired-Indian Navy personnel imprisoned in Qatar.
“I hereby give notice of my intention to ask for leave to move a motion for the adjournment of the business of the house for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent importance, namely — That this House do suspend Zero Hour, Question Hour, and other Businesses of the Day to have a discussion regarding the retired-Indian Navy personnel imprisoned in Qatar. Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh, were sentenced by the Qatari court on October 26, 2023.”
He said that he has been constantly raising this matter since August 2022 both inside and outside the House but there has been no response from the government for 14 months.
“In the meantime the eight Naval Personnel (Retd) have ostensibly been brutally tortured, self incriminating confessions extracted and sentenced to death in a Kangaroo Trail in a couple of perfunctory hearings. The government has not even called in the Qatari Ambassador to protest the matter strongly. There is no visible protest by the Indian Government, ” he said.
“Despite the purported acceptance of their appeal, crucial details such as charges, court rationale, and the judgment of the copy of the Court of First Instance remain undisclosed. I therefore urge the government to inform the House of the situation about our Navy personnel in Qatar and the steps taken to bring them back to India. I hereby request permission to raise this matter, ” Tewari added.