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NRC Assam: What will happen to the 40 lakh people left out of Assam’s draft Register of Citizens?

Special Correspondent

Silchar, July 30: After long wait and anxiety accompanied by tension among applicants left out in the first draft list, finally the second draft has come out, ending all speculations. According to the overall information of the state 40,07,707 applicants have been left out. Of the 3,29,91,384 applicants, 2,89,83,677 have been dropped. In the three districts of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi taken together, more than 4 lakh names have not found place in the draft list. Cachar district administration has taken the lead to come out with the composite list of all the 5 revenue circles of Silchar, Lakhipur, Katigorah, Sonai and Udharbond.

A total of 2.28 lakh applicants have not been able to make it out in the draft list in Cachar, 1.12 lakh in Karimganj and around 54,000 in Hailakandi. Quite significantly, the maximum number of applicants left out is in Silchar circle. There is no initial reaction from any organization or NGO which has been so active to protest for the inclusion of the names of all the citizens who have applied for being enlisted in the NRC. Though all the Seva Kendras in the three district administrations of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi have come out with the publication of lists exactly at 10 am, there has been no crowding as was seen during the submission of applications or verification of family tree. Reports from all the three districts say that seva kendras are almost deserted. The plausible explanation for that digitalization. People are browsing through their mobile phones or internet or the NRC websites to know the inclusion or exclusion of their names from the draft list.

The first hours of the day have been relatively silent with roads and business houses, big and small, with lesser traffic and human movement. Nor has there been any humming and buzzing inside and outside malls. Buses and other modes of transport have come out in smaller numbers. Mobility of people from rural areas to town areas has been rather insignificant, an indication of the curiosity or anxiety among them to have first hand knowledge of their fate with NRC. Despite all the assurances of the political leaders of all hues not to be worried if left out, simmering discontentment does prevail, particularly in those areas which have seen large number of left outs, particularly in the Silchar circle.

Another report from all the three districts indicate that there has been no any untoward incident till the filing of this report. Security forces including the police have been on their toes to ensure peace and tranquility and are prepared to deal with any unpleasant situation. As reported earlier, the hyper sensitive areas already identified are being kept under surveillance by the administration. After all the long drawn process to update NRC, though it is not yet the final draft, many questions are peeping around from responsible quarters.
What will be the strategy of the Centre and the state to deal with those whose names will not find place in the final draft? Will there be the application of the September 7, 2015 Notification of the Central government to protect the Bengali Hindus? Still more vexing is the question since there is no extradition treaty with Bangladesh, will the left outs after all scrutiny and examination be sent to detention camps? From all account, it will not be the end of the tunnel. A serious human crisis stalks over Assam.

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Sentinel Group