NEW DELHI/GUWAHATI, July 25: With just four days left for the publication of draft final NRC (National Register of Citizens) to be published on July 30, the Centre has sent over 22,000 central paramilitary troops to beef up security in Assam and adjoining States.
This massive bandobast is a follow-up of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) directive asking the Assam Government and also the governments of the neighbouring States to initiate all security measures. The entire move is carried out in joint coordination of the Assam Police and the paramilitary forces under close monitoring of the MHA.
Meanwhile, additional companies of CAPF (Central Armed Paramilitary Force) have been requisitioned to ensure law and order across the State in the run-up to as well as the post-publication of draft NRC. The security forces would be taking up their positions within July 29.
The Union Home Ministry (MHA) has directed these units to be deployed immediately in the vulnerable areas of the state, officials said. “A total of 220 companies of the CAPFs are being sent to the State in view of the NRC,” a senior official said.
The largest contingent among the forces is from the CRPF (53 companies) followed by Sashastra Seema Bal (41), BSF (40), ITBP (27), CISF (20) and Railway Protection Force (5).
A total of 34 companies of the special auxillary police are also being sent, they said.
About 105 CAPF companies are being rotated and utilised for law and order duties from within the State, they said.
One company of paramilitary comprises 100 personnel.
During the publication of first part draft NRC on the expiry of midnight 2017, there were 85 CAPF companies in the State.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked his ministerial colleagues to monitor and review the ground situation in the districts assigned to them.
The state administration along with Assam police has already carried out detailed mapping of the vulnerable areas. Intelligence inputs have been culled with respect to two factors, namely human and cyber activities.
Talking to media persons, DGP Kuladhar Saikia said, “We have already finalized the security update blueprint. The additional Central forces are arriving. We are now further developing the vulnerability mapping that was done earlier.”
The Centre has advised the Assam Government to set up a State-level coordination committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary to ensure coordination among the state agencies, NRC authorities and Central agencies. Round-the-clock control rooms at the State capital and district headquarters are to be activated to receive complaints and coordinate prompt response.
The Registrar General of India (RGI) has been asked to use all means of communication including websites, toll-free numbers, SMS etc, to provide information to the public about the draft NRC. An intensive public awareness campaign has been launched to disseminate information regarding the NRC process, options available for individuals whose names do not figure in the draft NRC, the procedure and timeline for filing claims and objections, etc so as to address the concerns of people left out of the draft list.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had in a statement earlier assured that every individual will get justice and will be treated in a humane manner. All individuals will have sufficient opportunity for the remedies available under the law. “The Government wants to make it clear that after draft NRC publication on July 30, adequate opportunity for claims and objections will be available. All claims and objections will be duly examined,” he had said.
Further, MHA has advised the State Government of Assam that no action should be initiated by the administration or the police based on the draft NRC. There is no question of referring the persons whose names do not figure in the draft NRC to the Foreigners’ Tribunal as people are entitled to file claims and objections and due opportunity has to be given to them before final publication. The question of referring any person to a detention centre based on the NRC exercise also does not arise. The State Government has been asked to issue clear instructions in this regard to all administrative and police functionaries.
The part draft of the NRC was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, wherein the names of 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated.
On July 30, the fate of all 3.29 crore applicants will be decided.