In a significant revelation, the Assam NRC coordinator has told the Gauhati High Court that there might be 2.77 lakh “undeserving” names in the National Register of Citizens, released on August 31 last year, excluding the names of over 19 lakh persons, officials said on December 10.
Assam’s NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma, following the court’s direction in October, submitted a detailed affidavit, saying that the NRC published in August last year was only a “supplementary list” and the final document is yet to published by the Registrar General of India (RGI).
The affidavit said: “Considering the fact that 1,02,462 names deleted through ‘incidental verification’ of 27 per cent of the draft NRC, one definitely cannot ignore the remaining 73 per cent unverified results where there may be 2.77 lakhs undeserving names in the NRC going by the same arithmetic.”
The 18-page affidavit said that 1,032 persons belonging to the Declared Foreigner (DF), Doubtful Voter (DV) and person having cases pending at Foreigners Tribunal (PFT) categories and their descendants have been wrongly included in the NRC.
It said that absence of quality check in the original inhabitant marking and verification, lack of quality check in family tree cross checking and matching are the main reasons behind such “wrongful inclusions”.
Sarma, in the affidavit, categorically stated that nearly 4,800 ineligible persons got included in the updated Assam NRC.
The affidavit was submitted in a division bench comprising Justice Manojit Bhuyan and Justice Soumitra Saikia in connection with a petition filed earlier by a woman. Among the 10,199 persons whose details were verified, names of 5,404 persons which should have got included in the NRC didn’t make it to the list.
Sarma, in his affidavit, said that all the anomalies detected by him in the published Assam NRC were reported to the RGI on February 15 seeking necessary directions for corrective measures in the interest of an error free NRC which is of utmost importance as it is directly related to national security and integrity but no directions have been communicated by the RGI.
“The RGI is also silent on final publication of the NRC for which it is the only authority to take action and till date the final NRC is yet to be published by the RGI,” the affidavit said.
The Gauhati High Court in the last week of October has asked the Assam NRC coordinator to file a comprehensive affidavit detailing how a section of ineligible people managed to include their names in the NRC published on August 31, 2019.
20 per cent verification of Assam NRC
The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the NRC updation, had earlier rejected Assam and central government’s pleas for conducting 20 per cent sample re-verification.
The NRC under direct supervision of the Supreme Court was released on August 31, 2019, excluding the names of 19,06,657 persons. A total of 3,11,21,004 names were included out of 3,30,27,661 applicants.
Most of the stakeholders, NGOs and political parties, after the publication of the Assam NRC, criticised it as a flawed document, claiming exclusion of genuine indigenous people and the inclusion of illegal immigrants.
Assam’s parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary recently informed the assembly that the state government had submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court requesting for re-verification of 20 per cent names in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent in the remaining areas of the state. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had claimed that the Assam NRC is “faulty” and had rejected it.