NRC Coordinator, AIUDF Chief Among Key Names Missing from Assam's Citizen Register

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Civil society activists in the past have expressed fears that the National Register of Citizens revision process may be used to target genuine citizens from the minority community by the first BJP government in Assam. The fact that only some of the names of the members of a single family appeared on the list while others did not has also raised doubts about the rigour of the verification process. "The first NRC draft includes about 40% of the total applicants".

At a meeting in Ahmedpur in West Bengal on Wednesday, Banerjee accused the NDA government at the Centre of "hatching a conspiracy" to drive out Bengalis from Assam by "excluding" their names from the first draft of the NRC, which was published on the midnight of December 31.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday spoke to the DGP and sought information on the status of the border areas in the aftermath of the NRC effect in neighbouring Assam.

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

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.

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While there was a strong apprehension of probable tension and violence, once the list was out, the state has remained calm 48 hours since the publication of draft NRC on December 31. So, my only request to the government is that no genuine citizen should be left out of that register, ” she said. The NRC exercise is likely to be over by the end of the year.

Over 1.39 crore applicants did not find their names in the first draft even as people thronged the NRC Seva Kendras to check for their names.

The TMC is trying to make an issue out of a non-issue, just like they had done in the case of demonetisation and the GST, Ghosh said. Although the Supreme Court in its order of 2014 had instructed the Government of India to enter into discussions with Bangladesh on streamlining the deportation of illegal Bangladeshis, nothing has happened on the ground as New Delhi is reluctant to raise this tricky issue lest it jeopardises relations with Dhaka. "The updated NRC is the result of 38 years of wait after the historic Assam Accord was signed".

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 alleged illegal immigration from Bangladesh as a poll plank.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Assam Public Works, an NGO in the Supreme Court in 2009 made much difference as the issue of foreigners reached the Apex Court which subsequently issued several orders for updating the NRC 1951 in Assam.