The Indian Civil Liberties Union (ICLU) is a network of lawyers, activists, paralegals and students across India who are committed to the protection of civil liberties. Conceptualised in 2018 by Anas Tanwir, the organisation has since worked tirelessly to protect constitutional values and the rights and freedoms of citizens, and others.
ICLU is the first advocacy organization to reach and provide free legal aid to those left out of the final list of the NRC in Assam.
In Assam, they provided paralegal training to students from National Law University and Judicial Academy Assam and around 30 students became a part of ICLU and assured to help them in their efforts. At Udalgiri, ICLU set up a free legal aid camp where almost four hundred people were helped. The ICLU team comprised of Anas Tanwir, Agastya Sharma Sen, Vinayak Pant and students of NLU-JAA.
The organization in the past has helped in the drafting of the anti-lynching law and implementation of the Supreme Court guidelines in case of lynching. They also reported on the violation of the Model Code of Conduct during the general elections of 2019. ICLU has also prepared easily accessible documents on several legislations ranging from the Right to Information Bill, 2019 to the National Register of Citizens in Assam. Through these documents, the people of India can easily understand their rights, privileges and duties as per the law.
Speaking to us, the spokesperson of the organization, Sanobar Fatma said they will be expanding to Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Hyderabad and are in talks for collaboration with various National Law Universities (NLUs) across India, as well as other universities and colleges. She added that we want people to know that as far as pan India NRC is concerned, there is no need to fear but to be prepared with the relevant documents and details.
ICLU plans to set up a permanent legal aid clinic in the affected districts of Assam.
The Paralegal programme of ICLU will be expanded across India so that every attendee is trained under practicing Supreme Court lawyers and will have practical knowledge about court proceedings and can help others with their knowledge, training and research with respect to the NRC. People trained by ICLU will have the opportunity to help hundreds of people who have lost their rights, their privileges, who have been disenfranchised and wrongly denied their rights. The Indian Civil Liberties Union will be releasing a detailed report soon.