By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 26: Though the Assam Government is firm on starting the process of updating the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC), partial availability or non-availability of NRC and electoral rolls for several districts has put a question mark on the completion of the much-awaited NRC update in the State.
The State Government has accepted the modalities proposed by the cabinet sub-committee on updating the 1951 NRC on August 16 and sent the proposed modalities to the Central Government for its final approval. The State Government will start the NRC update process soon after receiving the green signal from the Central Government.
But the State Government is likely to find it difficult to complete the NRC update due to non-availability or partial availability of NRC and electoral rolls for several districts of the State.
Government sources said that the 1951 NRC was not available for the State’s six districts – Cachar, Karbi Anglong, Baksa, Chirang, Dima Hasao and Sivasagar. The 1951 NRC is partially available for few districts of the State, added the government sources.
On the partial availability of the 1951 NRC, sources said, “Names of 251 villages are not included in the Nalbari district NRC; names of 258 villages are not included in the Barpeta district NRC; names of 626 villages are not included in the Tinsukia district NRC; names of 10 villages are not included in the Jorhat district NRC and names of 229 villages are not included in the Lakhimpur district NRC,” adding, “Names of 481 villages in the Nalbari district NRC are partly damaged; names of 30 per cent of the villages in the Udalguri district NRC are damaged; names of 10 villages in Sonitpur district NRC are non-readable; names of 5 villages in the Dhemaji district NRC are damaged, and the Kamrup district NRC and Bongaigaon district NRC are partially damaged.”
The electoral rolls (especially of 1971 or prior) have an important role to play in updating the NRC. But electoral rolls of 1971 or prior to that are not fully available for some districts of the State.
“In the 1971 electoral roll for Nagaon district, names of 19 villages are not included. In the 1965 electoral roll for Nagaon district, names of 11 villages are not included. In the 1971 electoral roll for Dhubri district, names of 215 villages are not included. The 1965 and 1971 electoral rolls for Dhemaji district are partly not available. The 1971 electoral roll for Kamrup (metro) district is partly available and the 1952, 1957, 1962, 1966 and 1971 electoral rolls for Sivasagar district are partly available. In the 1966 electoral roll for Tinsukia district, names of 208 villages are not included,” the government sources said.
The main base of the NRC update process is the 1971 electoral roll and the 1951 NRC.
Sources said the State Government would not be able to complete the NRC update without a complete and up-to-date 1951 NRC and 1971 electoral roll. “The Assam Government should take the NRC update process very seriously as all eyes are now on the NRC update process in the State. The government should also start the NRC update by taking into confidence all concerned parties,” sources said.
The updating of NRC is important to identify Bangladeshis who have sneaked into Assam, posing serious threat to the State’s demography. The State Government had earlier started a pilot project to update the NRC in Barpeta district in 2010. But this was put on hold following the death of four men in police firing on supporters of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union in the district on July 21, 2010.