People in Assam are yet to receive the forms for claims, objections and corrections in the state’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), even as the process has been delayed by at least a week from the original schedule. The NRC Sewa Kendras (NSKs) had yesterday started informing the public about the reasons for excluding names from the complete draft. The exercise, however, was slated to start from August 7. These centres were supposed to distribute the forms for claims, objections and corrections from the day of detailing the reasons for exclusion, but people visiting the kendras had to return without any forms.
The NRC officials declined to comment on the matter, citing Supreme Court guidelines. Sources said the forms are now likely to be distributed from August 16. The NSKs will accept the forms from August 30 to September 28, following which the process of their verification and disposal will begin. The current updation process of the NRC is limited to those who had applied till August 31, 2015. The claims, objections and corrections are also limited to them.
Eminent personalities like former Assam chief minister Syeda Anowara Taimur, the only woman to head the state, relatives of former president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed among others did not apply for the NRC update and consequently their names were missing from the complete draft.
Altogether 2,89,83,677 persons out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants were found to be eligible for inclusion in the complete draft of the NRC, which was published on July 30. The Supreme Court has not fixed any deadline yet to publish the final NRC, but the Centre has approved a total outlay of Rs 1,220 crore for the updation work till December 31, 2018. The NRC, touted to be a proof of Assamese identity, is being updated with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for legitimate claims to Indian citizenship in the state.