The draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam that would be published on December 31 would only be the “first draft” and there would be enough scope for people who do not figure in it to file claims and objections, Union home secretary Rajeev Gauba said in Guwahati on Friday.
Speaking to the media after holding a high-level review of the NRC updation process with the concerned officials and senior state government officers, Gauba said there was no reason to panic if anyone did not find his or her name in the draft NRC. “It has been repeatedly emphasised that the one that is being published is the first draft NRC. Those whose names don’t appear in the first draft need not be worried or concerned. There will be enough opportunity for subsequent verification and another draft will be brought out in due course of time,” he said.
Gauba also allayed fears and apprehensions by saying there would be enough scope for filing claims and objections and that was exactly why the NRC authorities had mounted a massive publicity campaign to make the people aware. “An IEC campaign has been launched to tell the people that this is the first draft,” he said.
The Union home secretary also ruled out any possibility of law and order problem after the draft NRC was out. “There should not be any such apprehension,” he said, when pointed out that the Registrar General of India had made such apprehensions in his presentation before the Supreme Court last month.
Gauba also reviewed the over-all security scenario of Assam and said that the situation had improved over the years. “There may be minor incidents from time to time. But the security situation has improved,” he said, brushing aside some recent incidents of violence perpetrated by the Paresh Barua faction of the ULFA.
The Union home secretary also informed that the Centre was considering construction of a four-lane highway along the India-Bhutan border as proposed by the Assam government. “The state government has proposed a 264-km four-lane highway along the India-Bhutan boundary, and we will pursue this with the ministry of highways,” he said.