Amid fear and high security alert in the state, Assam is all set to get the final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Monday that will seal the future of 1.3 crore people.
The administration has also imposed 144 CrPc in several districts across the state which prohibits the assembly of more than four persons.
The first draft, published on December 31, 2017, had 1.9 crore people featured in the list. A total of 3.29 crore people had applied to get their names in the updated list of the NRC.
The NRC, unique to the state of Assam was first updated in 1951 to distinguish Indian citizens from illegal migrants from then East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh). Now it’s being updated by the Registrar General of India under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India. The updating process was started in 2015.
The updated NRC will feature the names of those persons or their descendants whose names appeared in the NRC-1951 or in any of the Electoral Rolls registered up to March 25, 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to midnight of the same period, which would prove their presence in Assam.
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Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal termed it a historic day which will forever stay etched in the memories.
“For this remarkable feat, I extend my heartiest congratulations to the 55,000 officials engaged in NRC updation process and the people living across the Barak and Brahmaputra valleys, plains and hills of the state. I am confident that the NRC, which has become the instrument to safeguard the interest of greater Assamese society, would be able to create a positive atmosphere and it will also pave the way for realising the hopes and aspirations of the genuine Indian citizens,” said Sonowal just moments ahead of the publication.
Many fear that several lakhs of people will be left out in the final draft including the family members of the declared foreigners, the people whose names have been tagged as ‘Doubtful’ or ‘D’ voters by the Election Commission or whose names have been referred to the Foreigners’ Tribunal by the Assam Border Police.
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There are around 90,000 people who have been declared as foreigners in Assam as per the government report. Apart from that, there are around 1.25 D voters. And more than 1.31 lakh cases have been pending in the Foreigners’ Tribunals in Assam.
Earlier this month, NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela had said that at least 1.5 lakh names will be dropped from the list due to the anomalies in the submitted documents.
Sonowal, however, said that the people who don’t find their names in the final draft shouldn’t worry as they will be given plenty of opportunities.
Sonowal called upon the political parties to work as a team. He also said that both central and state governments have time and again assured the people not to panic and categorically stated that the government would provide all necessary support in filling claims and objections to genuine applicants.
“I urge the people to stay united to defeat all such evil designs. I am sure that this complete draft of NRC, which is prepared after 70 years of India’s independence, will be able to safeguard the future of each and every citizen of Assam,” Sonowal added.
Coordinator Prateek Hajela said that people can apply for the claims, objections and correction from August 30 to September 28. “There is no fear at all. If their names are not in the final draft, it doesn’t mean that these people are illegal. This is just a draft and I’m telling you that these people will be given ample opportunities for claims and objections. So, there is no reason to fear,” Hajela said.
The security has been beefed up with around 220 additional companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed. Assam DGP Kuladhar Saikia said that all the arrangements have been done and sought the support of people.
“We are thankful to the people for their support. We have made all the security arrangements,” Saikia told reporters.
Meanwhile, various organizations and individuals have appealed the people to maintain peace and harmony.