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Anger, disappointment at NRC review centres in Assam on Day 1

Many upset and disappointed on the first day of filing claims, objections and corrections in the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens for Assam as the requisite forms were not available

india Updated: Aug 11, 2018 09:44 IST
Sadiq Naqvi
Sadiq Naqvi
Guwahati, Hindustan Times
NRC Assam,Assam review centres,National Register of Citizens
People whose name were left out in the National Register of Citizens draft stand in a queue to collect forms to file appeals in Mayong, 45 kilometers east of Guwahati, on Friday. (AP photo)

Anger, confusion and disappointment prevailed in over 2,500 National Register of Citizens Nagrik Seva Kendras (NSKs) in Assam on Friday as people who have been excluded from the list made a beeline to collect the forms on the first day for filing the claims and seeking corrections to the details in the final NRC draft, but were asked to come back on another day.

“They advertised that the forms will be given out today (Friday),” said Ashish Das, an executive with a pharma company, pointing to a poster on the NRC office’s wall providing the schedule for getting the forms for filing claims, objections, corrections and queries.

Das’s name was included but misspelt in the NRC draft released in Assam on July 30 as part of a Supreme Court-monitored exercise to weed out illegal immigrants. He took leave on Friday to get the spelling corrected at a NRC office in Guwahati. But the office did not have the required forms much to his disappointment.

Das was not alone. There were complaints galore on Friday, the first day for filing the claims and seeking corrections to the details in the final NRC draft that has excluded over 40 lakh people. Most of the requisite forms were reportedly unavailable. The only form available related to the reasons for exclusions from the NRC.

Baksa district deputy commissioner Sanjeeb Kumar Gogoi said the forms were unavailable since the Supreme Court (SC) is likely to revise them after the next NRC hearing on August 16. “There is ample time since the submission will only start after the end of the month.”

NRC officials said the SC is likely to prescribe a standard operating procedure (SOP) for filing claims. They said the Union home ministry will submit the SOP before the apex court in consultation with the NRC secretariat.

Most people were just given the queries form and asked to return later to know the reason for their exclusion at the office in a Bengali dominated area in Guwahati.

NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela refused to comment citing the Supreme Court’s gag order against him for speaking to the media about the NRC without permission this week.

“This is unwanted harassment. I lost one day’s salary. Now I will have to return again,” said Rinku Sarkar, a driver. Sarkar moved to Assam from West Bengal. He had submitted his family’s land documents. Yet names of his two children and wife do not figure in the draft.

Saraswati Biswas, a housewife, said she hoped to appeal against the exclusion of her two kids for the list.

C K Baisya, an official at the office, promised to give the forms after August 16.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 22:47 IST