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Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019

2.95 million out of 4 million left out of NRC draft claim for inclusion; nearly 700 objections filed

The actual number of deletions is likely to be much higher depending on the number of individuals who have staked their claim based on the documents of the persons whose citizenship is suspect.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2018 15:53 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the exercise, had extended the deadline for filing claims and objections to December 31.
The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the exercise, had extended the deadline for filing claims and objections to December 31.(REUTERS)
         

On the last day of filing claims for inclusion of names in the National Register of Citizens in Assam, only 2.95 million people out of 4 million have submitted them, a top official said.

The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the exercise, had extended the deadline for filing claims and objections to December 31. LS Changsan, principal secretary (home, political and border), said the state government is not considering seeking another extension for the exercise.

Around 700 objections have been filed against those who figure in the complete NRC draft which was published on July 30, said an official on the condition of anonymity.

The complete draft excluded 40,07,707 people.

“The Standard Operating Procedure did not allow people to change the legacy person. That is one big reason. Then the other reason is people may not have documents,” said Dharmananda Deb, a lawyer associated with Hindu Legal Cell in Silchar, which has been assisting people in the NRC process.

Legacy data, which includes an extract of voters lists up to March 25, 1971, and extract of NRC 1951 is part of the list of List A documents needed to prove that the family was a resident of Assam before the cut-off date of March 25, 1971.

“How many people file claims is not important but what’s more important is that anybody who has come before 1971 should be included. People are illiterate, they don’t know much about the process or claims and objections,” said Azizur Rehman, the chief coordinator of coordination committee for minority organisations.

However, Prateek Hajela, state coordinator of the NRC has a different view.

Seeking no leniency in norms, Hajela in an earlier report to Supreme Court claimed that “oft-repeated pleas of illiteracy and poverty cannot be a ground to reduce the strictness criteria of NRC as organised support is available to these illegal immigrants.”

Hajela claimed in the report that documents such as ration cards, extracts of 1951 NRC, electoral rolls up to March 25, 1971, and refugee registration and citizenship certificates can be forged, not a difficult task in Assam, and misused to get illegal migrants into NRC.

NRC officials had said earlier that ineligible applicants who had been included in the complete draft will be excluded from the final list. Around 7,000 suspected and declared foreigners who made it to the complete draft had been identified, an official said.

These around 7,000 people and their descendants will not be part of the final NRC, this official said. The actual number of deletions is likely to be much higher depending on the number of individuals who have staked their claim based on the documents of the persons whose citizenship is suspect.

According to the NRC provisions ratified by the Supreme Court, declared foreigners and their descendants are to be excluded from the NRC, while D Voters and those who have cases pending against them in foreigners tribunals and their descendants are to be kept on hold till their cases are decided irrespective if they have passed the NRC verification processes

Meanwhile, there is still no clarity on the fate of those who will not be included in NRC. In November, a joint committee of the state and the centre was appointed to decide the fate of those excluded from NRC.

Those excluded from the complete NRC will be referred to the Foreigners Tribunals. Changsan said the state government will take a decision to increase the number of FTs from the present 100 depending on the final number of exclusions from the NRC.