Sushanta Talukdar

Applications will be invited from people to update NRC

Guwahati: The Assam government has proposed to the Centre that DNA tests be carried out to determine parental linkage, if the need arises, in updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) 1951.

The draft modalities for updating the NRC that have already been submitted to the Centre and made public by the Assam government on Friday state that updating shall be carried out by inviting applications from people whose names figure either in the NRC 1951 or the electoral rolls up to 1971.

While the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003 prescribes house-to-house enumeration of all the households as done in the population census or in the intensive revision of electoral rolls, the State government has proposed that updating of the NRC 1951 for Assam is to be carried out by inviting applications from the citizens.

The proposed modalities state that the electoral rolls up to 1971 as available and the NRC 1951 shall be printed in sufficient numbers and published in each village or ward of towns for circulation among the people. The persons whose names figure in any of the records as above should apply in their name and with the names of their descendants with supporting documents to establish linkage of their descendants in a prescribed format.

In case the enlisted persons are not alive, then their descendants shall have to apply directly. “DNA test in connection with determination of parental linkage may also be carried out if the necessity arises,” the draft modalities stated.

Illegal migrants

The names of persons who have been declared illegal migrants/foreigners of post-1971 stream by the competent authorities shall not be included in the consolidated list. However, the persons who came after 1966 and before March 25, 1971 and registered themselves with the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) shall be eligible to be included in the consolidated list. The list so prepared shall be published as draft updated NRC.

Any person whose name does not figure in the draft list may file a claim application before the authorised registering officer to be appointed for the purpose within a specified time frame. Similarly, there may be objection to entry in the draft NRC. After the disposal of claims and objections if any, the required additions and the deletions shall be made and the final updated NRC shall be published.

The State government, however, stated in the draft modalities that in some of the districts, records up to 1971 were partially available. This might be a hurdle in determination of eligibility of persons for entry into the updated NRC.

The State government proposed that in such cases other authenticated records should be relied upon. The documents which shall be considered conclusive proof for determination of citizenship shall have to be finalised by the government of India.

In a tripartite meeting on implementation of the Assam Accord held in New Delhi on May 5, 2005 between the Centre, the Assam government and the All-Assam Students’ Union (AASU), it was decided that the NRC 1951 would be updated by including the names of persons from the electoral rolls up to 1971 and their descendants. Since then, the AASU, all political parties and various minority groups have been demanding expediting the updating process to find a permanent solution to the vexed foreigners problem.