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Assam Tags 1.9 Crore Of Over 3 Crore Citizens As Legal In Draft Registry

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The NRC is a list of the Assam’s citizens (File)

Guwahati:  The Assam government has published the first draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) which includes names of 1.9 crore people of total 3.28 crore people in the state.

Register General of India (RGI), Sailesh, who held a press conference at 11:45 pm said the names of rest of the people are at various stages of verification.

The RGI said the complete NRC or  will be published within the year 2018. The NRC is a list of the state’s citizens.

He said this is only the part draft of the NRC and that there is no need to worry if anyone’s name has not been included in the part draft that has been published.

“It only means that his or her name is at some stage of verification,” he said.

The exercise to update the NRC is being carried out in Assam following a decision in 2005 after a series of meetings between the central and state governments and the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in an attempt to document the bona fide Indian citizens living in the state. 

Assam, which faced influx from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, first prepared in 1951. 

The current exercise, started in 2005 under the then Congress regime, got a major push only after the BJP came to power in the state with illegal immigration from Bangladesh as a poll plank. 

The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the entire process, had ordered that the first draft of the NRC be published by December 31 after completing the scrutiny of over two crore claims along with that of around 38 lakh people whose documents were suspect. 

Of the 3.28 crore applications submitted, there was confusion over the inclusion of 29 lakh people who had submitted certificates issued by ‘gram panchayats’ as proof of identity, after a Gauhati High Court order in February had deemed ‘panchayat’ certificates invalid, the official said. 

The Supreme Court set aside the high court order and upheld the validity of the certificates as identity proof if they were followed up with proper verification. 

When the NRC was first prepared in Assam way back in 1951, the state had 80 lakh citizens then. 

The process of identification of illegal immigrants in Assam has been debated and become a contentious issue in the state’s politics. 

A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979.

It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985 in the presence of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

(With Inputs From PTI and IANS)


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