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Delhi, Dispur on their toes

NRC PUBLICATION

* RGI, Joint Secretary (NE) assessing ground situation

GUWAHATI, June 13: With June 30 nearing, the Centre, the Registrar General of India (RGI) and the Assam Government have been busy in assessing the facts on the ground in Assam – the progress of NRC update and the security scenario, including the post-complete draft NRC publication security. Neither the Centre nor the RGI wants to be lulled into a false sense of security in the run-up to or post-complete draft NRC publication.

The gravity of the situation can be gauged well from the fact that even as central intelligence has been gleaning information on the security scenario in Assam, a team from the Centre comprising RGI Sailesh and Ministry of Home Affairs’ Joint Secretary for Northeast Satyendra Garg arrived in the State on Wednesday on a three-day whirlwind tour. Soon after arrival, the team, accompanied by State NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela, left for Barpeta and reviewed the situation there at a meeting with the deputy commissioners of some lower Assam districts. The team is bound for Nagaon on Thursday when it is going to assess the situation in the central Assam districts by holding a review meeting with the deputy commissioners. On Friday the team is slated to leave for the Barak Valley districts to assess the preparations for publication of complete NRC draft and security there. Before the publication of the complete draft NRC this is going to be their final exercise on the ground.

The team from the Centre is being choosy in visiting only districts dominated by the minority people in the State is essentially a pointer to the fact that the situation concerning NRC is volatile in the minority-dominated areas of lower Assam, central Assam and the Barak Valley districts. And this has made Dispur to be on its toes. A team of senior State government officials led by Chief Secretary TY Das and comprising Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Alok Kumar, DGP Kuladhar Saikia and other top police officials visited Darrang district on Wednesday and took stock of the emerging law-and-order as well as internal security situation in Darrang, Udalguri and Sonitpur. The DCs, SPs and senior officers of police, Army and other CAPFs engaged in the districts also took part at the meeting. Various issues relating to internal security and emerging law-and-order situation were discussed. This is the third such meeting by the high-power team which is also going visit all the remaining districts of Assam in the near future before the publication of the complete draft NRC.

Taking the vulnerability into account, Dispur has sought more Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) personnel from the Centre. Assam at present has 85 companies of CAPF personnel.