No crime related to the additional exclusion list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on Wednesday has been reported in Assam, said Mukesh Agarwal, Additional Director General of Assam Police.
“Everything is under control. There is nothing to worry about the situation in Assam. We have been able to control the law and order situation in the state even when the first draft and complete draft of the NRC was published. The document published today is only an exclusion list,” he said.
Office of the state co-ordinator NRC Assam on Wednesday published an additional exclusion list, containing names of 1,02,462 persons. As per the office of the NRC co-ordinator, the persons whose names appear in this list are the ones who were found to be ineligible to be included in the NRC.
The complete draft of the NRC was published on 30 July, 2018, in which names of more than 40 lakh people were excluded. The list also mistakenly included names which were later found to be ineligible. Those names have been excluded on Wednesday by publishing them in the additional exclusion list.
The official statement said that three types of names have been included in the additional exclusion list. First off, the persons who were declared foreigners or doubtful voters or are persons with cases pending at foreigners' tribunals or their descendants, as applicable, discovered after publication of draft NRC, were excluded on Wednesday. Secondly, the persons who were found to be ineligible while appearing as witness in hearings held for disposal of claims and objections have also been excluded. Thirdly, the persons who were found to be ineligible during verification carried out by the local registrars of citizens registration, after publication of complete draft NRC on 30 July, 2018, were excluded.
Speculation was rife that the additional list of exclusion may cause unrest in a number of districts of the state bordering Bangladesh, as large-scale exclusion was expected in those districts. Sources in the police department say that adequate provisions have been made to rule out any possibility of crimes.
“Arrangements were made beforehand to ensure that additional forces are deployed in the sensitive zones to keep strict vigil on any untoward situation,” said an official source. The source also said that strict instructions have been issued to immediately take police action at the emergence of any law and order situation related to the NRC. “Sensitive zones have been identified where exclusions on big scale could take place. Apart from Assam police battalions, CRPF has also been deployed to ensure speedy control of any break out of law and order situation,” the source further said.
The areas which belong to the sensitive zones mostly fall in the districts near the Indo-Bangla border. Three districts in Assam, namely Cachar, Karimganj and Dhuburi, share an international border with Bangladesh.
Mugdhajyoti Mahanta, Superintendent of Police of the Cachar district, told Firstpost that there is no law and order situation there.
“Situation is absolutely normal here. There is no report of any untoward incident related to NRC. We are keeping strict vigil,” he said.
The NRC update procedure faced criticism in the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley region in Assam, of which Cachar district is an integral part. Interestingly, the civil right groups which have been vocal against alleged harassment to bonafide citizens in the name of NRC update have also fallen silent.
“Though quite a few instances came to light of wrongly excluding people from the NRC, this time around, no incident has been reported till now. We are still keeping tab of the developments related to the publication of the additional exclusion list,” said Shantanu Mukharjee, general secretary, Sadou Assam Bangali Oikyo Mancha, vocal about the alleged discrepancies in the NRC update process.
A number of allegations of wrongly excluding people from the citizen’s list emerged after the publication of the first draft and the complete draft.
As per a report published in Firstpost, only in the year 2018, 16 persons committed suicide in Assam due to non-inclusion of names in the NRC.
According to the official statement published by the state co-ordinator of the NRC office, the people who have their names in the additional exclusion list will have an opportunity to file claims. “Those persons who will be excluded will also be informed individually through Letters of Information (LoI) to be delivered at their residential addresses along with the reason of exclusion. Such persons will have the opportunity to file their claims which will be disposed through a hearing by a disposing officer. The submission of claim and its disposal by the disposing officer through a hearing will happen together. LoI will mention the details of the venue of claim submission cum hearing. The hearings will start from 5th July 2019 onwards. The date of hearings will also be available online in the NRC website www.nrcassam.nic.in from 29th June 2019 onwards. All such claims will be disposed thereafter and results of such persons will be declared in the final NRC on 31st July 2019,” the statement said.
The deadline set by the Supreme Court of India to publish the final list of NRC is on 31 July.
Updated Date: Jun 26, 2019 20:40:23 IST