GUWAHATI: The first part draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published at the stroke of midnight featuring names of 1.9 crore Indian citizens living in Assam. The verification of the remaining 1.39 crore applications to continue under the supervision of the Supreme Court.
The chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that updating of the NRC had been a massive exercise involving almost entire state machinery and for the first time the NRC of 1951 was being updated any of the states.
The part draft NRC was published in the presence of Registrar General of India Sailesh who stated that the final draft in all probabilities would be published within 2018 itself. The date for publication of the complete draft is likely to be finalized by the Supreme Court on February 20 next.
The process of updating the NRC in Assam started in December, 2013, taking March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date and the applications for it were invited in May-June 2015. The last date of submission of applications was August 31, 2015.
Altogether, 3.29 crore people of Assam had applied for inclusion of their names in the registry after verification of documents and family tree, while around 6.6 crore documents were submitted by the applicants. The first draft of the NRC has been prepared with the names of those whose document verification has been completed.
Meanwhile, apprehending law-and-order problems in some parts of the State, security measures have been tightened. Vulnerable areas have been identified and on its part, the Centre also sent additional forces to deal with any possible law-and-order problem. The Union Home Secretary also visited the State to review the situation.
Though the date for the publication of the complete draft is yet to be finalised, it is expected that the Supreme Court will give a direction in this regard during the next hearing of the case scheduled for February 20.
The demand for updating the NRC of 1951 was first raised in 1980 when the All Assam Students’ Union submitted a memorandum to the Government of India in the beginning of the Assam Movement. But no decision was taken by the Centre in this regard at that time and again, in a tripartite meeting to review the implementation of the Assam Accord chaired by the then Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on May 5, 2005, a decision to update the NRC was taken.
Meanwhile, vigil has been mounted on the social media to thwart any attempt to create any problem in the state over the NRC updating process.
Sonowal said special arrangements have been made to monitor the social made while making an appeal to the media to highlight that it would be only the first draft involving just over two crore people and there would be very meticulous provision for enlisting names of any genuine India citizens whose names may no feature in the first draft.
“Genuine Indian citizens need not worry at all even if their names may not feature in the first NRC draft for certain technical reasons. Our officers will go out of the way to help them enlist their names in the later stage,” Sonowal said.
The Office of the State Coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam, has arranged for five ways to check the names included in the draft. Printed copies of the draft can be checked at NRC seva kendras from 10 am to 4 pm on all working days till January 31. It can also be checked online at www.nrcassam.nic.in, www.ass am.mygov.in, www.assam. gov.in and www.homeandpolitical. assam.gov.in.
It can also be checked through automatic receipt of SMS by pre-registering applicant’s mobile number by sending an SMS to 9765556555 or 9108464438 and 9108464450. Also, demand SMS can be sent to the same phone numbers by typing ARN and after putting a space the 21 digit application receipt number. One can also call the 24X7 toll-free helpline number 15107 from Assam and 18003453762 from outside Assam.