Home India Over 40 lakh left out of draft NRC in Assam

Over 40 lakh left out of draft NRC in Assam

People whose names are missing have till September 28 to file claims

Assam were left out of the complete draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was published on Monday. The five year exercise was completed at a cost of ₹1,220 crore.

The draft NRC was released in Guwahati by Registrar General of India Sailesh and NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela in the presence of Joint Director (Northeast) in the Ministry of Home Affairs Satyendra Garg.

While the publication of the list triggered a political row in Parliament, the situation in Assam remained largely peaceful, with thousands lining up at NRC Nagarik Seva Kendras (NSKs) to check their status.

Soon after the list was released, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee hit out at the Centre, accusing it of resorting to “vote bank politics”. “This divide and rule policy will finish the country,” she said at a press conference in Kolkata.

Including first list

As many as 3,29,91,384 people had applied and the applications of 2,89,83,677 were accepted, said Mr. Sailesh.

The final draft included the names of 1.9 crore applicants who were listed in the first draft published on December 31, 2017.

“The remaining 40,007,707 applicants, whose names didn’t figure in the list will be given ample opportunity through a process of claims and objections till September 28, and their citizenship status will not be questioned till the final, error-free draft is prepared,” Mr. Sailesh said.

Mr. Sailesh and Mr. Hajela, however, did not specify when the final draft would be prepared. But they indicated the period for claims and objections could be extended by a month.

Those not on the list include 2.48 lakh Doubtful-voters (D-voters) and their siblings and descendants.

‘List not final’

“The process has been completely transparent, fair, objective and meticulously carried out,” Mr. Sailesh said.

Reiterating that the list released was only a draft and not the final one, he said, “Those not in the draft will get ample opportunity with adequate time to establish their citizenship claim. People who lack knowledge will be provided assistance. Full justice will be meted to all.”

Names of those left out not to be revealed

NRC State Coordinator for Assam Prateek Hajela said the names of around 40 lakh applicants left out of the final list published on Monday would not be revealed to protect their privacy. Speaking at the release of the final draft in Guwahati along with Director (Northeast) in the Ministry of Home Affairs Satyendra Garg and Mr. Hajela, Registrar General of India Sailesh said, “We cannot provide a district-wise breakup of these 40 lakh for the same reason,” adding that the total expenditure on the NRC exercise since September 2013 was ₹1,220 crore.

To a question on whether those left out in the draft NRC would be intimated, Mr. Hajela said: “We consider them as applicants. Each of them will be sent letters individually for the next step. We are trying to tell them they might have missed out because of some reasons such as unsubstantiated documents.”

Mr. Garg said there would be no penal action against those rejected until their cases were sorted out. “We want law and order to be maintained, and no one will be allowed to create trouble.”