Ajmal for early publication of second NRC draft list

TMC member Saugata Roy speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday during the ongoing winter session of Parliament. PTI

TMC member Saugata Roy speaks in the Lok Sabha in New Delhi on Tuesday during the ongoing winter session of Parliament. PTI

At that meeting, it was decided that the Assam government will take up and complete within two years the process of updating the NRC of 1951 by including the names that appear in the 1971 voters' lists and those of their descendants. All of them have also asked others to not worry about the missing names as the list is still a work in progress document.

This move to register the names by the government has been praised by the opposition as well. Sonowal's strongly worded message comes less than 48 hours after the publication of the first draft of the NRC in which 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants have found place.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal sought on Sunday to reassure anyone left off the draft list, saying every "bona fide Indian citizen" would eventually be included.

Of the 3.29 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, an official said.

People from different walks of life were seen queued at NRC Seva Kendras located in different parts of the state to find out whether their names figured in it.

"As far as NRC is concerned, everything is being supervised by the Supreme Court". The Supreme Court had set December 31 as the deadline for the publication of the first draft. No person who is a genuine case will be left out.

A pilot project to update the NRC was started by the Congress government in 2010 but the exercise had to be stalled following violent protests by All Assam Minorities Students' Union. The popular rhetoric for dealing with such illegal migrants has always been to deport them to Bangladesh, but this is easier said than done.

The NRC of 1951 is being updated in Assam under the supervision of the Supreme Court to identify original residents of the state in order to check illegal migration. Aware of the fact that India and Bangladesh do not have any deportation treaty, he said, "The issue of deportation will come later". "The updated NRC is the result of 38 years of wait after the historic Assam Accord was signed". However, the absence of any clear policy as to how to deal with the proclaimed illegal migrants has created a sense of unease in the minds of many presently residing in Assam. Assam has been plagued by illegal immigration for decades, since the 60's.

The draft register that has been issued by the Assam Government will be available to the general public till January 31. Their names did not figure in the NRC since the authorities did not have much time to update their systems post the SC order.

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