Ajmal for early publication of second NRC draft list

Villagers walk past Central Reserve Police Force personnel patrolling a road ahead of the publication of the first draft of the National Register of Citizens in the Juria village of Nagaon district in Assam

National Register of Citizens (NRC) state coordinator Prateek Hajela releases the first draft of NRC in Guwahati.

"My entire family's name is missing from the first draft".

The Opposition has also praised the publication of the first draft.

At a meeting in Ahmedpur in West Bengal on Wednesday, Banerjee accused the NDA government at the Centre of "hatching a conspiracy" to drive out Bengalis from Assam by "excluding" their names from the first draft of the NRC, which was published on the midnight of December 31.

A senior All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) leader said that party chief Badruddin Ajmal's name also did not figure in the NRC, but added here is no need to panic and that the final NRC would include the names of all genuine Indian citizens in Assam. A total of 3.29 crore applicants have applied and submitted more than six crore documents for inclusion of their names in the updated NRC. He said the NRC would permanently change the lives of the people of the state. The Supreme Court had set December 31 as the deadline for the publication of the first draft. So, my only request to the government is that no genuine citizen should be left out of that register, ” she said. Once this phase is over, the people who do not find place in the NRC will have to follow the judicial process to establish their claim to Indian citizenship.

"The decision to update the NRC was taken at the tripartite talks between the Centre, the Assam government and the AASU in Delhi in 2005 under the chairmanship of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh", he said. “I fail to understand why the State government did not expedite the NRC update process. Bangladesh has consistently denied that its citizens have illegally emigrated to India. Since the deportation of illegal migrants is not feasible, the only option before the government is to let them reside in the country on humanitarian grounds but after stripping them of all citizenship rights.

Dibrugarh probably has the highest number of names enlisted, with district administration sources saying close to 80% of the names have figured in the list, it is the lower Assam districts like Hojai (33%), Barpeta (38%) and Nagaon (44.16%), where most residents are yet to get the "legal citizen" tag.

"Illegal migrant" is a terminology to target Bengali-speaking Muslims who have been settled in Assam for generations. Assam has been plagued by illegal immigration for decades, since the 60's.

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Assam Public Works, an NGO in the Supreme Court in 2009 made much difference as the issue of foreigners reached the Apex Court which subsequently issued several orders for updating the NRC 1951 in Assam. Even the Speaker of the House's name is missing from the NRC.

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