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Monday, September 28, 2020

If no pan-India NRC, Assam needs fresh one or revision: Himanta Biswa Sarma

He said if the apex court orders for a 20-per cent re-verification in border districts of Assam, then the state will do that and give the report to the court.

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | December 24, 2019 1:38:16 am
Data on Hindu Bengalis not included in NRC soon: Himanta Biswa Sarma Himanta Biswa Sarma

A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to distance his government from a pan-India NRC, saying that there has been no discussion on it yet, Assam’s Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday announced that if a nationwide NRC does not take place, the state will move the Supreme Court for revisions and corrections to the final NRC.

Under no circumstances, he said, will the state government accept the NRC in its current form.

Addressing the media in Guwahati, Sarma said, “If there is no national NRC, we [Assam] need to have a fresh NRC, or revision of [the present] NRC. But for that we have to wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict. The issue of Assam NRC is distinct and different from national NRC because we are implementing it under the supervision of the SC. We are not satisfied [with the present NRC].”

He said many organisations are not satisfied with the NRC and have moved the apex court. “If we get justice from the Supreme Court, then it is different. If we do not get justice from SC, then we have to pursue the matter in some forum.”

Sarma said the state government’s plea for re-verification of names included in the NRC is still with the top court, as are different petitions filed by organisations such as All Assam Students Union (AASU) and the NGO Assam Public Works (APW), who were also dissatisfied with the final NRC.

The final NRC in Assam excluded 19 lakh applicants, and the state government, the state unit of BJP, the main petitioner —APW — and important stakeholder AASU have all expressed dissatisfaction at the number of people excluded, pointing out that it should have been higher.

Sarma said: “If there was a national NRC, we should have joined in the national NRC. If there is no national NRC, then our Assam NRC has to be foolproof. The literal meaning is that we do not accept the NRC which has been published. Our main idea is to see 20 per cent re-verification in border districts. Without a 20 per cent re-verification in border districts, we do not accept the present NRC.”

He said if the apex court orders for a 20-per cent re-verification in border districts of Assam, then the state will do that and give the report to the court. “If in the 20 per cent re-verification we detect large-scale anomalies, then of course our next plan will be to seek a complete re-verification,” he said.

10 held for social media posts

Ten people were arrested for allegedly posting provocative and offensive content on social media during the violence in Assam earlier this week, minister Sarma said on Monday.

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