NRC claims process see low turnout

People verify the National Register of Citizens (NRC) forms to file claims and objections at an NRC centre, in Guwahati. PTI file photo

Only 4.5 lakh people, which is a little over 10%, of the 40.07 lakh applicants excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam have submitted their claims so far.

The process for submitting claims and objections began on September 25 and is slated to come to an end on December 15.

Sources in Guwahati told DH that only 200 people had submitted their objections against inclusion of names of suspected illegal migrants in the draft NRC, published on July 30.

The issue of low turn out was discussed thoroughly in a meeting in New Delhi between Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, national security advisor Ajit Doval, among others.

After the meeting, Sonowal appealed people to submit objections against inclusion of suspected illegal migrants in the draft NRC.

More than 40.07-lakh people of the total 3.29-crore applicants found their names missing from the draft NRC, which is being updated only in Assam with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date.

Those submitting documents to prove that they or their forefathers lived in Assam on or before March 24, 1971, would be included in the NRC, being updated to solve Assam's long-standing problem of illegal migration.

Supreme Court is monitoring the NRC exercise.

Sources said that submission of claims was low mainly due to halting of five documents, which were earlier accepted for NRC inclusion, by the Supreme Court, following a plea by NRC co-ordinator Prateek Hajela.

The apex court, however, had allowed the use of the five documents earlier this month.

Exclusion of the 40.07-lakh applicants had created an uproar with Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee claiming that it is a ploy by the BJP government to disfranchise Muslims and Bengalis in Assam.

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