Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday said names of all genuine Indians will be incorporated in the list of the state’s citizens in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“Names of all genuine Indian citizens will be included in the final draft. There should be no apprehension over it,” Sonowal told PTI.
Maintaining the state government has provided all assistance to the NRC authorities, the CM ruled out any possibility of violence after the NRC publication on Saturday.
Sonowal said adequate forces were deployed across the state to deal with any situation.
“The central government has provided additional forces following our requests. Both the central and the state governments are working as a team. We hope that the people will cooperate with us like they did in the past,” Sonowal said.
Meanwhile, Home Ministry officials said the publication of the final draft of the NRC may be delayed by few days due to the flood situation in the state which affected more than five lakh people in seven districts. As many as 25 people had also lost their lives in the floods.
“The NRC authorities are expected to approach the Supreme Court seeking an extension to the June 30 deadline for the publication of the final draft of the NRC,” an official said.
The massive exercise aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh is being carried out in Assam following a decision in 2005 after a series of meetings between the central and state governments and the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
Assam, which faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, first prepared in 1951.
The part draft of the NRC, a list of the state’s citizens, was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 where names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated.
The Supreme Court had ordered the first draft of the NRC be published by December 31 after scrutinising over two crore claims along with that of around 38 lakh people whose documents were suspected.
“Of the 3.29 crore applications submitted, there was confusion over the inclusion of 29 lakh people who had submitted certificates issued by ‘gram panchayats’ as proof of identity, after a Gauhati High Court order in February had deemed ‘panchayat’ certificates invalid,” another official said.
The Supreme Court set aside the High Court order and upheld the validity of the certificates as identity proof if they were followed up with proper verification.
The apex court also asked authorities to stick to the original deadline for the publication of the draft NRC and include names of those whose claims were verified.
Assam had 80 lakh citizens when the NRC was first prepared in 1951.
(With inputs from agencies)