Officers working 24×7 for ‘error-free’ final NRC list in Assam
Guwahati, Aug. 28 (PTI): With just three days left for the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, officers are working round-the-clock to ensure an “error-free” final list, official sources said on Wednesday.
Data compilation is complete and the NRC offices at the district, circle and block levels are working 24X7 to ensure no bonafide citizen is left out, they said.
The final NRC list will be published on August 31.
“Quality control checks are underway to ensure that the NRC is error-free and this would continue till the last day,” sources in the NRC state coordinator’s office told PTI.
Officers engaged in the exercise of updating the list are in constant touch with the government departments concerned, including the border police wing and the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) so that name of any person against whom cases are pending in the tribunals are not included in the NRC.
Meanwhile, the office of the NRC state coordinator issued a notice on Wednesday on how to check the names in the final list.
“Those who submitted claims as they were not included in the complete draft published on July 30, 2018 or excluded by the Additional Draft Exclusion List published on June 26, 2019, and those who had any objection filed against their inclusion, can see their status in the supplementary list of inclusion by visiting designated NSK/office of circle officers/office of deputy commissioners,” the notice said.
People can also check their status online by typing their Application Receipt Numbers (ARNs) on the NRC website from August 31 under the title ‘Supplementary List of Inclusions/Exclusions Status’.
Those who were included in the complete draft and not excluded in the Additional Draft Exclusion List, but were called for hearings from July 5, 2019 onwards, can also check their status in the same manner, it said.
In addition, people who were not called for the hearings have “no cause to worry about their inclusion status, as they continue to be included in the final NRC”, the notice added.
Assam DGP Kuladhar Saikia said the police is “fully prepared” to prevent any untoward law and order situation in the run-up to the publication of the NRC and after.
The state government had on Tuesday said it will provide free legal aid to “needy” people whose names do not figure in it, as it sought to assuage the fears of bonafide Indians who apprehend losing citizenship.
The process of updation of NRC is being conducted by the Registrar General of India. The Supreme Court is monitoring the exercise.
It is for the first time since 1951 that the NRC is being updated in Assam to identify bonafide residents and deport illegal immigrants.
When the draft NRC was published on July 30, 2018, there was a huge controversy over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it. The draft NRC included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applications.
In the list published in June 2019, over a lakh more people were excluded.
Assam has seen a huge influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century.
NRC: Parties express apprehension to confuse people, says AASU
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on Wednesday said it has full faith in the updation process of the NRC and claimed that the apprehension expressed by various political parties is a ploy to confuse people as they want to protect their votebanks.
The AASU is a signatory to the Assam Accord, a 1985 document that provided for “detection, deletion and deportation” of illegal foreigners from Assam.
Under the monitoring of the Supreme Court, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is being updated in the BJP-ruled state to prepare a list of genuine Indians. The final version of it is slated to be published on August 31.
“We have full faith in the process. Different political parties are trying to confuse the people by expressing apprehensions at a stage when the NRC is to be published in a few days,” AASU Chief Advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya told PTI.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is also the BJP president, and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had earlier “hailed the publication of the draft NRC but suddenly they started criticising the process,” he said.
Former Congress chief minister Tarun Gogoi who had claimed it was his government that initiated the NRC process, recently alleged that the register is going to be just a “scrap of paper”, Bhattacharya claimed.
“Political parties seek to protect their vote banks involving both Hindus and Muslims and these criticisms are just a ploy to confuse people,” he alleged.
The BJP government is there at the Centre since 2014 and in the state from 2016, and both have the power to resolve the foreigners’ issue, the AASU leader said.
“Before both the assembly poll and recent Lok Sabha elections, the BJP promised that they will ensure publication of a foreigner-free NRC but now they have adopted a different stand,” the AASU leader said.
The BJP and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad are claiming that a large number of foreigners have been included in the NRC drafts.
The state and central governments had moved the Supreme Court seeking permission for 20 per cent sample re-verification to find out wrongful inclusions and exclusions of persons in the NRC. The apex court rejected the plea on July 23.
The AASU leader urged political parties and the governments not to confuse people but cooperate in the process of the NRC publication.
During the last 34 years since the signing of the Assam Accord, there has been no detection or deportation or sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border, Bhattacharya claimed.
A six-year agitation by the AASU demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord by the Rajiv Gandhi government and the AASU on August 15, 1985.
Successive state governments failed to take concrete steps to resolve the foreigners’ issue.
The ongoing process of updating the NRC started with the setting up of the NRC State Coordinator’s Office in 2013 and the actual fieldwork began in February 2015 under the monitoring of the Supreme Court.
Assam, which had faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.
It is for the first time since then that the NRC is being updated.
“If genuine Indian citizens are left out, the AASU will extend all help to them,” he said and requested the people to maintain peace.