GUWAHATI: The authorities of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam on Monday said they had not received any directive from the Supreme Court to include the names of Bengali Hindus, who migrated to India from Bangladesh after March 24, 1971, in the NRC.
The NRC is being updated based on March 24, 1971 as the cutoff date and under the directive and supervision of the Supreme Court.
“We haven’t received any directive from the Supreme Court to include the names of the Bengali Hindus in the NRC,” NRC State coordinator Prateek Hajela told reporters in Guwahati.
He also said that the names of over 1.36 lakh “D” (doubtful/disputed) voters would not figure in the NRC as long as they were not declared Indians by the tribunals. A large number of the D voters are Bengali Hindus.
Last year, the NDA government had issued a notification under the Passport Act to grant asylum to all non-Muslim immigrants of Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India before December 31, 2014, in the face of torture and religious persecution in the neighbouring countries.
Assam has been witnessing protests for the past few months against the Centre’s move to give “citizenship” to the Hindu Bangladeshi immigrants. Meanwhile, the NRC authorities have registered cases against 137 applicants, who allegedly submitted forged documents to get their names enrolled in the NRC.
“During examination of applications, we came across forged documents submitted by 137 applicants. Their cases are being investigated by the police,” Hajela said. He could not give any number of the people arrested for submitting forged documents but BJP’s Guwahati MP, Bijoya
Chakravarty, told the Lok Sabha recently that it was 28. She had urged the Centre as well as the State government to put in place stricter measures to detect forged documents, allegedly submitted by the suspected immigrants.
“We’ve received 68.23 lakh applications. Field verification, office verification and family tree are the three steps to verify documents. Ninety seven percent of field verification was over by February. Of the 6.63 crore documents received, 4.5 crore have been verified. The process to verify the documents is time-consuming and difficult as it involves various departments but we are confident of completing it,” Hajela said.
He said there were several cases where a person had been mentioned as the father by many individuals. He said the receipt of relevant data from the departments concerned was of utmost importance to make the family tree.
“What is important to us is to find out if the person is a citizen of this country. We will ensure that the names of the original inhabitants are not left out in the process…Individuals, and not the community, will be decided as original inhabitants,” Hajela added.