New Delhi: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal congratulated his people for successful updation and release of its final draft list of Indian citizens – the National Register of Citizens (NRC) – on Monday. Sonowal said “the historic day will remain etched in their memories forever”.
The process of publishing the final draft was done with the help of Registrar General of India, along with the central and the state government officials, under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court, Sonowal said.
The CM thanked the officials, who were involved in updating the NRC. “For this remarkable feat, I extend my heartiest congratulations to the 55,000 officials engaged in NRC updation process and the people living across the Barak and Brahmaputra valleys, plains and hills of the state,” he said.
Sonowal expressed confidence that the NRC, which has become the “instrument to safeguard the interest of greater Assamese society”, would be able to pave the way for realising the hopes and aspirations of the genuine Indian citizens.
Registrar General of India Sailesh released the Supreme Court-mandated final draft at 10am in Guwahati. Out of 3.29 crore applicants, 2.89 crore have been found eligible and their names have been included as Indian citizens in the list. Nearly 40 lakh applicants names are missing.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh said misinformation about the NRC should not be spread. He said that there is “no need to panic” if any applicant’s name is not there in the NRC list as “no coercive action will be taken” and anyone can file claims and objections.
“Some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear. This is a completely impartial report. No misinformation should be spread.This is a draft and not the final list,” said Singh as quoted by news agency ANI.
During an all-party meeting on Sunday night, the chief minister appreciated the successful completion of the “herculean task” of preparing the NRC, an official release said. Sonowal had reiterarated that no applicant will be sent to a detention camp after the publication of the final draft.
The first draft, with 1.9 crore names, was released on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, this year.
The NRC was first carried out in 1951 to enumerate the citizens, their houses and holdings. The list was updated to weed out illegal immigrants as per a provision of the Assam Accord signed in 1985 after a six-year agitation against Bangladeshis.
(With agency inputs)