GUWAHATI: The stage is set for the release of the second and final draft of the Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Monday amid tight security. The NRC will be released online and in all the NRC Sewa Kendras across the state at 10 am (and not at noon as announced earlier).
Anticipating a breakdown of law and order, the authorities enforced prohibitory orders for an indefinite period in Barpeta, Darrang, Sonitpur, Dima Hasao, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, Karimganj and Golaghat districts. As many as 22 localities in Guwahati are sensitive, said Police Commissioner Hiren Nath.
The updation of NRC has been in deference to the Assam Accord of 1985 which the then Rajiv Gandhi government had signed with the All Assam Students' Union at the end of six-year bloody Assam Agitation. As per the exercise, which is being directly monitored by the Supreme Court, people, who entered Assam after March 24, 1971, will be viewed as illegal immigrants. However, they will get a window of 30 days to file claims and objections. Eventually, the final NRC will be published.
So far, there has not been any untoward incident but police are on high alert and 220 additional companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed. They are fanned out across the "vulnerable" districts.
Assam's Director General of Police, Kuladhar Saikia, said, “We have taken all steps. The sectoral deployment of the forces is already in order. If anyone is found trying to break the law, we will go very hard on him. We are ready to face any eventualities.”
Defence sources said the Army had been asked to be on a standby. A senior Army official told TNIE, “We are anticipating agitations against civil administration. There is a possibility that NSKs will be targeted.”
The situation in Assam is tense as nearly 1.5 crore people are waiting for their citizenship status as the government prepares to release the final list of Indian citizens living in the state tomorrow. The National Registry of Citizens was created in view of illegal migration into the state from neighbouring Bangladesh. But many complained that they were left out of the list despite submitting sufficient proof. The registry update is seen by critics as a move to target Assam's Muslim population on the pretext of weeding out Bangladeshi migrants.
(With inputs from online desk)