Assam NRC final list: Sonowal offers help for NRC excluded

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.  

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, speaking after the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam on Saturday, said, “This is a critical time for the people of Assam. Our government will provide legal help to the excluded people.”

Offers of help have also come from the opposition Congress and several NGOs.

State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela on Saturday said, “Taking into account all the persons already included and after disposal of all claims and objections and proceedings under Clause 4(3), a total of 3,11,21,004 were found eligible for inclusion in the final NRC, leaving out 19,06,657 people including those who did not submit claims.”

Watch | 19 lakh people left out of Assam's NRC Final List. What next?

“All decisions of inclusion and exclusion were taken by statutory officers in an objective and transparent manner,” he said and added that the applicants were provided adequate opportunity of being heard at every stage of the process conducted as per statutory provisions and due procedure followed at every stage.

The complete NRC draft was published on July 30, 2018, wherein 2,89,83,677 people were found eligible for inclusion while 40,007,707 were excluded, Mr. Hajela said.

Costly exercise

According to rights groups, the NRC exercise has forced people in Assam — mostly Bengali-speaking Hindus and Muslims under suspicion of being illegal immigrants — to spend more than ₹7,800 crore on hearings besides claiming the lives of some 60 people.

Four of them were killed in police firing during a pilot project in western Assam’s Barpeta in July 2010, some died in accidents during trips to the NRC service centres for hearings while the rest allegedly died of stress and anxiety during the process.

Most political parties, including the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, and pressure groups were unhappy with the final NRC data. But there has been a call for calm with the security forces making it clear attempts to create trouble — physically or through social media — would be strictly dealt with. “The situation is normal and under control,” State police chief Kuladhar Saikia said.

Describing the National Register of Citizens in Assam as a “botched up exercise”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said that those who tried to extract political mileage out of it will have to answer the nation. She also said that the exercise was guided by “ulterior motive rather than good of society and larger interest of nation”.

“The NRC fiasco has exposed all those who tried to take political mileage out of it. They have a lot to answer to the nation. This is what happens when an act is guided by an ulterior motive rather than the good of the society and the larger interest of the nation,” she tweeted.

(With inputs from Shiv Sahay Singh)

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 6:07:18 AM |

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