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Saturday, July 21, 2018

First draft out, final NRC keeps hopes up for many

Most people whose names have not appeared have said that they look forward to completion of verification and publication of the final draft, the date for which is yet to be fixed.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati | Updated: January 3, 2018 4:51:24 am
nrc, first draft, assam, national register of citizens, indian citizenship, illegal migrants, indian express Citizens can see the draft NRC at Sewa Kendras in their respective villages or wards. (Express Photo by Dasarath Deka)

The percentages of applicants whose names have appeared in the first part draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam vary widely from district to district, circle to circle, and even village to village. For example, more than 90 per cent of the 6.5 lakh applicants from Sivasagar district appear in the draft NRC that was published on Sunday midnight. In Bongaigaon district, names of only about 31 per cent of the total applicants have appeared.

In Barpeta district, where the pilot NRC project was scuttled due to violence involving the All Assam Minority Students’ Union in 2010, only 38.78 per cent applicants have found their names in the draft NRC. In Chenga Circle in Barpeta, it is 29.05 per cent.

Most people whose names have not appeared have said that they look forward to completion of verification and publication of the final draft, the date for which is yet to be fixed. The names of more than 1.39 crore people have not appeared in the first part draft.

“Of six members in my family, only three have found place in the first part draft. While I, my wife Halini Begum and eldest son Moidul Islam’s names have appeared, those of my other son Iftikar Hussain, daughter Tehmina and daughter-in-law Parveen have not appeared,” said Easin Ali of Satgaon Noapara under Dispur Assembly constituency.

Bani Das of Chandannagar, a Guwahati locality also under Dispur LAC, was confused because names of only three of his family members have appeared. “My eldest son Prajoy, his wife Mallika, younger son Pulak and granddaughter Dhritishree’s names have come. But I could not find the names of my wife Renu and me,” Das, who recently retired from a newspaper house here, said.

In Morigaon district, local panchayat member Hunufi Khatun has not found names of any of her six-member family, except her seven-year-old granddaughter. “We submitted electoral rolls of 1966 to prove our citizenship status. But only my granddaughter Aliya’s name has appeared. But I am not worried because we are indigenous people of Assam. My great grandfather was a Kachari tribal, while my husband’s grandfather was a Tiwa tribal who had converted to Islam more than 100 years ago,” she said.

Names of several political leaders including AIUDF president Maulana Badruddin Ajmal have also not appeared in the part draft NRC. The list includes his brother and MP Sirajuddin Ajmal, AIUDF legislator Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Quasimi, Congress MLA Nurul Huda, BJP legislators Ashok Sarma and Narayan Deka among others.

“What I have gathered is that the documents I had submitted have not yet been verified,” said Nalbari BJP legislator Ashok Sarma, a member of the RSS. “I am sure my name has not come because the verification has not yet been completed,” said former Congress MLA Ardhendu Dey.

“We could include only about 1.9 crore of the 2.38 crore names… in the first draft NRC… verification of over 6 crore documents… is a gigantic task,” said NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela.

CM Sarbananda Sonowal too has appealed to people not to panic if they don’t find their names in the draft NRC.

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