In a first, BJP government in Assam has come up with first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) at the stroke of midnight. The list includes the names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore total applicants, recognising them as legal citizens of India. The rest of the names are under various stages of verification, according to reports. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has also asked the ‘genuine citizens’ who had been left out to not panic as they could still get their names included in the final list. “This is going to be a historic moment, not just for Assam, but for the entire country. While Assam was the only state which prepared an NRC way back in 1951 in the wake of post-Partition migrations, Assam will again be the only state to have a Register which will contain the names of all genuine Indian citizens residing in the state,” said Sonowal.
Registrar General of India Sailesh said at a press conference held at midnight where he made the draft public. “This is a part draft. It contains 1.9 crore persons, who have been verified till now. The rest of the names are under various stages of verification. As soon as the verification is done, we will come out with another draft,” he added.
Of the 3.28 crore people who had applied for inclusion in the registry, 2.24 crore have found a place in the first draft following verification of their documents. The rest will be considered in the next two drafts, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told mediapersons yesterday. “As per hon’ble Supreme Court’s order, there will be two more drafts of the NRC and the names of all genuine citizen claimants whose names do not feature in the first publication will be included in it after verification of the pending documents,” Sonowal said.
Dispelling apprehensions over security, Sonowal said no untoward situation is expected to arise as the district administrations have been conducting public meetings and campaigns to explain to the people the updation procedures. The chief minister also said the media have an important role to play in disseminating correct information to the public.