MPs, MLAs find their names missing from Assam citizens registry
The north-eastern state has published the first draft of the National Register of Citizens, many panic as their names are not in the list.
Millions of Assamese woke up to a new year with a sense of trepidation. The million-dollar question - is he/she a citizen of India? - was topmost on their minds.
The government of Assam has published the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC); it contains the names of 1.9 crore people out of the total application of 3.29 crore applicants.
The register aims to separate genuine Indian citizens from illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. The north-eastern border state has been plagued by illegal immigration for decades.
Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal and a few notable MLAs whose names are not present in the first list include Nurul Huda, Aminul Islam, Shiladitya Dev, Sherman Ali Ahmed and Sukur Ali Ahmed among others.
The draft register will be available to the general public till January 31 and they can check it from 10 am to 4 pm can be accessed at the following sites:www.nrcassam.nic.in, www.assam.mygov.in, www.assam.gov.in, www.homeandpolitical.assam.gov.in, www.partdraftnrcassam.in, www.partdraftnrcassam.com, www.draftnrcassam.net, www.partdraftnrcassam.net, www.draftnrcassam.in, www.draftnrcassam.com, www.nrcassamonline.net and www.nrcassamonline.in.
The initial publication of the register has caused confusion as many legal residents of Assam have found their names missing.
However, according to NRC officials there is no need to panic as names are under various stages of verification and the first draft will be updated. The commission aims to complete the process by 2018.
"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," Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam's Chief Minister said.
The Opposition has also praised the publication of the first draft. The leader of the Opposition in Assam and Congress MLA Debabrata Saikia said, "NRC is good news for Assam. It was a demand that arose during the Assam andolan [of the 1980s]."
"The names of the Indians who have documents prior to 1971 may not have been included in the first list of NRC but I hope their names will be included in the second list after proper verification," Aminul Islam, an MLA of the All India United Democratic Front, said.