Assam publishes part draft of NRC with 1.9 cr names, mixed reactions in state

Guwahati, Jan 1 (IANS) The Assam government has published part of the draft of the much-awaited National Register of Citizens (NRC) which includes names of 1.9 crore people of total 3.29 crore applicants in the state, an official said.

The publication evoked a mixed response across the state while there are reports that one person in the state's Silchar allegedly committed suicide after not finding his name.

Making the announcement at a press conference here close to midnight on Sunday, Registrar General of India, Sailesh said the names of the rest of the people are at various stages of verification.

The status of inclusion of names can be checked in the websites -- www.nrcassam.nic.in, www.assam.gov.in, www.assam.mygov.in and www.homeandpolitical.assam.gov.in, the Office of the State Coordinator of National Registration (NRC) posted on its official Twitter page.

Sailesh said the complete NRC will be published within 2018, adding that Sunday's publication is only the part draft and that there is no need to worry if anyone's name has not been included in it.

"It only means that his or her name is at some stage of verification," he said.

The NRC authorities had received applications submitted by 3.29 crore people, accompanied by six crore documents, of the state for inclusion of their names in the NRC, the process of updating which began in 2013 and was carried out under the Supreme Court's instruction.

In Cachar, police said that Hanif Khan's body was found hanging in the backyard of his house. "Locals said that the person got afraid after his name was not found in the NRC and took the extreme step. However, we are trying to ascertain if there is some other reasons behind his decision," said a police officer.

While the historic move has elated most of the citizens of the state, yet many people found it disheartening not to find their names in the part draft NRC.

People from different walks of life were seen queued at NRC Seva Kendras located in different parts of the state to find out whether their names figured in it.

Some were disheartened as their names did not appear in the NRC and said that there are some problems by which some genuine names did not appear.

However, welcoming the draft NRC's part, All Assam Students Union (Aasu) adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya termed it the "first step towards having a foreigner-free Assam". "The updated NRC is the result of 38 years of wait after the historic Assam Accord was signed. This is going to be the only constitutional safeguard for the indigenous people of the state," he said.

Bhattacharyya also thanked the Supreme Court, saying that it is due to the consistent monitoring of the apex court that the people of Assam has got the part draft NRC.

Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia welcomed the effort but said that names of many people left out in the part draft.

"This should not have happened. I hope that all the names of genuine Indian citizens will be included in the final NRC," he said adding that the names of Congress legislator Nurul Huda, whose forefathers' name appeared in 1951 had not figured in the updated NRC.

"These are genuine cases which are left out and I hope they will correct the same soon," he said.

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.



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