BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, January 30: Is there any chance of inclusion of mes of illegal Bangladeshi settlers in the updated version of the tiol Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam?
This apprehension was raised by the Asom Ga Parishad (AGP) in an all–party meeting on the NRC update issue held in the State Secretariat at Dispur on Friday. The AGP pointed out the clause which states that the mes of such persons, who do not have supporting documents to verify their stay in the State before March 25, 1971, can be included in the NRC, if the veracity of their ‘stay claim’ is vouched by a few local residents of that area and is up to the satisfaction of the officials concerned.
The AGP urged the government to remove this clause from the NRC update process so that illegal tiols do not take advantage of it. In the meeting, the party was represented by Durga Das Boro who later told mediapersons that such a clause will open the door for illegal tiols in the State to include their mes in the updated NRC.
Significantly, State BJP vice president CK Das, who attended the meeting, kept mum on the objection raised by the AGP. It may be mentioned that before the Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had made this issue one of its poll planks.
The State government responded to the objection raised by the AGP by stating that the issue will be discussed threadbare after the civic polls in Assam.
Prateek Hazela, NRC State Coorditor and Commissioner & Secretary, Home & Political, who took part in the all–party meeting along with other senior government officials, said, “As per the Supreme Court’s directive, the process of NRC update will be completed by January 2016. In the first part of November this year, the draft NRC will be published. The 1951 NRC list, the 1971 electoral rolls and earlier electoral rolls will be made public in the last part of February this year.”
He further said, “All the people will have to submit their filled–in NRC forms to the authorities concerned by July 15 this year. For making the NRC form submission process transparent and easy, 2,500 village level centres will be set up across the State.”
The decision to update the NRC was first taken at a tripartite meeting held between the All Assam Students Union (AASU), the Central government and the Assam government on May 5, 2005 in New Delhi. Initially, a 2–year time frame had been fixed for completion of the process.