First NRC draft list published

Staff Reporter
 GUWAHATI, Dec 31 – After years of wait and speculation, the first draft list of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published at the stroke of Sunday midnight featuring names of 1.9 crore Indian citizens living in Assam.The remaining 1.39 crore cases continue to remain under examination, scrutiny and verification.

The part draft NRC was published in the presence of Registrar General of India Sailesh who stated that the final draft in all probabilities would be published within 2018 itself.

The process of the NRC update started in December, 2013 and the applications for it were invited in May-June 2015. The last date of submission of applications was August 31, 2015.

Altogether, 3.29 crore people of Assam had applied for inclusion of their names in the registry after verification of documents and family tree, while around 6.6 crore documents were submitted by the applicants. The first draft of the NRC has been prepared with the names of those whose document verification has been completed.

The complete draft will be published after the verification process of documents submitted by all the applicants is completed.

Though the process of verifying the documents is going on in full swing, the response from other states is not very encouraging. Around 5.5 lakh documents were sent to other states for verification, but only around 1.5 lakh documents have been returned.

State Coordinator for updating the NRC Prateek Hajela said that in the web release, one would be able to find his or her 11-digit application receipt number (ARN), member ID and names of the family members.

“Upon their visit to the respective NRC Seva Kendra, individuals would be able to view the draft NRC related to his or her ward or village,” he said.

From next morning onwards, applicants would be able to see their names in the NRC Seva Kendra. People would be able to locate the 11-digit ARN in the last page of the application form below a bar code.

Hajela reiterated that people who do not find their names in the draft NRC need not panic as there would be two more draft NRC lists before the final one is published. “Further, there would also be provisions for claims and objections,” he added.

Meanwhile, apprehending law-and-order problems in some parts of the State, security measures have been tightened. Vulnerable areas have been identified and on its part, the Centre also sent additional forces to deal with any possible law-and-order problem. The Union Home Secretary also visited the State to review the situation.

Though the date for the publication of the complete draft is yet to be finalised, it is expected that the Supreme Court will give a direction in this regard during the next hearing of the case scheduled for February 20.

The demand for updating the NRC of 1951 was first raised in 1980 when the All Assam Students Union submitted a memorandum to the Government of India in the beginning of the Assam Movement. But no decision was taken by the Centre in this regard at that time and again, in a tripartite meeting to review the implementation of the Assam Accord chaired by the then Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh in 2005, a decision to update the NRC was taken.

A pilot project was started in two revenue circles of the State in 2010, but it was suspended after violent protests by some organisations in Barpeta. The process finally started gaining momentum after the Supreme Court started monitoring the progress of work.

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