Forty lakh people did not find a mention in the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was released at a jam-packed press event in Guwahati on Monday. Out of the 3.29 crore applicants (who applied in 2015), the names of 2.89 crore people found a mention in the draft and those who did not will find ample scope to file their claims from August 30 to September 28 and they will not be deprived of any rights, officials said.
“28983677 people have been found eligible for inclusion in the draft NRC out of 32991384 applicants,” announced Sailesh, Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India at the presser.
On the eligibility of these 40 lakh people to vote, Sailesh said the process is handled by different authorities (Election Commission of India) and they would eventually give a decision.
Satyendra Garg, a joint secretary at the MHA who attended the release event, said that no person will be referred to the Foreigners’ Tribunals or would anyone be sent to detention camps based on this draft.
Prateek Hajela, NRC state coordinator, said that out of these 40 lakhs, applications of 2.48 lakh people are kept on “hold” who belong to the following four categories: D-voters, descendants of D (doubtful) -voters (those who have drawn descendancy from D voters), people whose cases are pending at FTs and descendants of these persons.
In parallel processes of citizenship determination ongoing in the state, Assam Border Police can, after enquiry, refer any resident to the FTs as a suspected foreigner following which a notice will be sent to the person. Moreover, there are D or “doubtful” voters — a category introduced in the electoral rolls of Assam in 1997 to supposedly mark people unable to prove their citizenship during verification — who have to eventually prove their citizenship after a notice is served by the FTs.
Sailesh continued, “No genuine Indian citizens should have any fear or any panic in regard to filing of claims and objections we will also see that person who lack knowledge or seek assistance. There will be modalities and ways where people can get some sort of assistance to fill up claims forms correctly. There will be an intensive campaign for that. Full justice will be meted.”
The NRC of 1951 is now being updated in Assam to include the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC, 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to March 24, 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to March 24, 1971.
“The exercise of NRC in its scale size and complexity is unprecedented. It has no parallel in the country and perhaps in the world. The process has been completely transparent and fair and meticulously carried out,” said Sailesh.