The final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not be published on June 30 due to the ongoing floods in several parts of Assam.
According to a Supreme Court order, the final draft of NRC in Assam was supposed to be published on June 30. The NRC is a list of genuine India citizens.
Now the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the entire process of the NRC update process, will issue a fresh date on July 2.
NRC coordinator on Thursday told media that due to the flood the deadline couldn’t be met.
“Though it was scheduled to be published on June 30, we won’t be able to do that. There is a hearing in this regard in the Supreme Court on July 2, where we will inform the honourable court about it and we will be given a fresh date. The flood has affected the work process in some areas of the state especially after June 13 and for that we are lagging at least eight to 10 days behind,” said state coordinator of NRC in Assam, Prateek Hajela.
The first NRC was prepared in 1951 after the census of 1951 and it was prepared by recording particulars of all the persons enumerated during that census. Unique to the state of Assam, this document was prepared to distinguish Indian citizens from illegal migrants from then East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh).
Now, the updated NRC will be published to include the names of those persons or their descendants whose names appeared in the NRC, 1951 or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to March 25, 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to midnight of the same period, which would prove their presence in Assam.
The first draft, which was published on December 31, 2017, featured the names of 1.9 crore people out of a total of 3.29 crore.
“Even if it’s not going to be published by June 30, most of the works have been completed and we are hopeful that we will be able to get it published in a very short time. Everything will be decided by the court and we will follow it accordingly,” said Hajela.
Though Prateek Hajela had told media recently that nearly 50,000 foreigners and their names will not be featured in the final draft, many suspected it may not be so and the number might go even higher.
A notification from NRC office on May 2 asked the police (border) to refer brothers, sisters and other family members of ‘declared foreigners’ to the foreigners’ tribunals and not include their names in the NRC. Many organizations think that this will increase the number of people whose names will be missing.
Though the flood situation has improved in the state, at least 31 lives have been lost in the last several weeks. Most of the districts in Barak Valley and in many in Brahmaputra valley were affected. According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), more than over 68,000 people are affected by the flood as of Wednesday.