The Assam government has initiated the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The first phase of the project will be completed within the next three years, said Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi on Thursday.
The NRC lists all "usual residents" of an area. Under this project, "usual residents" are defined as people who have lived in an area for six months, or intend to continue residing in the place over the next six months.
The chief minister was addressing the media when he said that the first phase of the project would include 42 assembly constituencies of the state.
He said that the controversy over the issue of the NRC had been continuing for a long time, and that the government was keen on settling it once and for all.
Gogoi also said that the government was going to create a special cell to handle NRC. The updating of the NRC will occur in three phases, and cover all 126 assembly constituencies of the state; each phase will cover 42 assembly constituencies.
Gogoi sought the cooperation of all sections of society in updating the NRC.
Under the project, the register of 1951 will be updated based on the voters list of 1971.
The Assam government had started a pilot project to update the NRC in Barpeta district in 2010. However, that project had to be put on hold after four people were killed in in police firing in the district July 2010, as supporters of the All Assam Minority Students' Union (AAMSU) indulged in vandalism.