The Government on Thursday asked district magistrates posted along the Indo-Bangladesh border to guard against people from across the border who may try to enroll their names in the National Population Register (NPR).
Home Minister P. Chidambaram said there have been some instances in border areas where people from across the border have tried to get themselves enrolled in the NPR, which will be updated across the country beginning April one.
“There is a danger, mostly in Indo-Bangla border -- people crossing over and get enumerated in the NPR,” he said addressing the All India Conference on National Population Register here.
The Indo-Bangla border is 4095 km-long.
The enumeration exercise will cover all 35 states and Union Territories and the country’s 1.2 billion citizens living in 7,742 towns, 6,08,786 villages and 24 crore households involving 25 lakh government employees.
The Home Minister said there are 3,331 border towns and villages where the problem may arise.
“Obviously, any inflated enumeration will take place only in land border. We are not talking about east or west coast. We are talking about the Indo-Myanmar border and Indo-Bangladesh border,” he said.
Mr. Chidambaram said the other side of the Indo-Myanmar border is very thinly populated.
“So, the really danger is in the Indo-Bangla border. We are cautioning our field officers to be careful while enumerating in Indo-Bangla border,” he said.
Mr. Chidambaram, however, said there was not much problem along the border with Pakistan as it was mostly fenced.
“There is a not a great danger along the border with Pakistan. Indo-Nepal border is a porous border. Yes, there is some danger there too. We have to be cautious there too,” he said.
The Home Minister said the NPR is a register of usual residents and the nationality being canvassed in the form as per the declaration of the respondent and this will not confer any rights of citizenship on anybody.
“If any false claim is being made, it should be brought to the notice of the relevant authorities that have been notified namely, the village officer, the Tehsildar or the Collector who will cause the verification of antecedents and appropriate action will be taken under the law,” he said.
During the exercise, the enumerators will collect from each household 35 details related to total number of person living, their sex, number of dwelling rooms, number of married couples, source of drinking water, type of latrine, fuel used for cooking, type of floor, wall, roof, whether anyone owns car/two wheeler, anyone availing bank service etc.
Asking the officials to do the task with utmost sincerity and dedication, Mr. Chidambaram said there were significant difference between the normal Census work and the NPR which will be a path-breaking initiative for others to follow.
“Each one of you is, therefore, a pioneer and it is through the joint efforts of all of you that this ambitious task can be fulfilled,” he said.