Union Home Secretary takes stock of NRC draft in Assam

ANI | Updated: Dec 28, 2017 18:24 IST

Guwahati (Assam) [India], Dec 28 (ANI): The National Register of Citizens (NRC) has grabbed the headlines as it is a crucial undertaking by the Government of Assam in ensuring rights of the people.

The NRC was prepared in the year 1951 after the census of 1951. Its implementation is done through the state government machinery under the Registrar General of India.

In the state of Assam, the first draft of the NRC is set to be published by 31st December, as per the directive of the Supreme Court, which has been monitoring the entire process of updating the NRC.

Adhering to this, Union Home Secretary Rajib Gauba, along with the Joint Secretary to the Ministry of Home Affairs Satyendra Garg, visited Assam and chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the measures taken by the Government of Assam to deal with the situation that may arise in the state after the draft gets published in Guwahati.

Assuring the transparency, Gauba said, "Those whose names do not appear in the draft need not get unduly worried or concerned. There will be opportunities for subsequent investigation, document verification. There will be another draft and after that also there is a process of claims and objections as per the rules."

Union Home Secretary also met Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal and other leaders including the state home secretary and chief secretary.

He also chaired a meeting of the strategic group of the counter-insurgency Unified Command Comprising Army, Assam Police and paramilitary forces to take stock of the internal security scenario in view of the NRC updating process.

Besides the NRC, issues like strengthening the border infrastructure and improving border security, which includes border fencing that needs to be fast-tracked, were also discussed.

As informed by the Union Home Secretary, the physical fencing is being supplemented by modern state of the art electronic devices.

The NRC in Assam is being updated and March 25, 1971, will be the cut-off date, as per the tripartite agreement signed among the Centre, state government and All Assam Students' Union (AASU) way back on May 5, 2005.

It is expected that with the updation of the NRC, it will become easier to detect illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam who had sneaked into the state after March 25, 1971, as per the Assam Accord signed on August 15, 1985, as the culmination of the Assam Agitation against illegal migrants in the state.

Pratik Hajela, Commissioner and Secretary Home and State Coordinator, NRC Assam, informed, "There would be ways and alternatives in the NRC draft through which people can check their names in the draft NRC. People can even check their names by visiting NRC Seva Kendra. It is also available online as well as there is a facility for SMSs."

This has drawn a pool of opinions of people from all walks of life as with the publishing of the first draft of the NRC.

Avinash Sharma, a resident of the state, said, "The NRC is a good step though. After drafting of the NRC, there would be complete transparency as to who are the illegal immigrants and the Indian citizens residing the state. I think the decade-long Assam movement against illegal immigrants will be solved and will come to an end."

However, there are doubts among the citizens regarding the usage of the NRC for political gains and the transparency in the process.

"We as a common people would say that the NRC should not be bias where no political issues should be involved. In Assam, there should be a transparency and the main motive behind the NRC should be fulfilled and implemented and imposed in the right sense on the people," said another local resident, Victor Rajkumar.

It is worth mentioning that there are about 68 lakh applications that have over 6 crore documents that need to be verified and checked and that very substantial work has been accomplished already.

The state government, as well as the Centre, has assured that no genuine Indian citizens would be kept out of the updated NRC.

Moreover, as per the instruction of the Centre, the Assam State Government is taking all possible measures to strengthen the security and to avoid any occurrences post-draft publication in the state. (ANI)