Fears of violence in Assam as NRC deadline nears

As the Assam government expedites updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) after being prodded by the Supreme Court, there is a perceived fear about violence after publication of the NRC dr

Published: 02nd December 2017 11:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2017 08:36 AM   |  A+A-

GUWAHATI: As the Assam government expedites updation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) after being prodded by the Supreme Court, there is a perceived fear about violence after publication of the NRC draft roll.

The NRC is being updated under the gaze of the Supreme Court, which has set December 31 as the deadline to publish the updated draft roll. The Centre had earlier sought seven more months for publication of the draft roll, but the apex court rejected the plea.

Given the apprehension about violence, 50 additional companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed to some vulnerable and sensitive areas in the state.

Special Director General of Police Kula Saikia said the police were in the process of mapping the threat perception. He said that of the 2,500 NRC service centres, around 800 had been identified as “sensitive.”
A section of the politicians is also apprehending trouble.

But the state’s top cop, Mukesh Sahay, downplayed the threat perception. “I am taking feedback from our officers who are on the ground. They are saying that everyone wants a timely NRC and a good NRC. So far, there is no apprehension about law and order. But if some elements try to create mischief, we are there to respond,” Sahay said.

Asked if the state government could seek more Central forces, he said that would depend on how the situation evolved. The state government and the Union governments are working in tandem, he said.

“We are working on intelligence sharing and social media monitoring. The situation is being reviewed on a daily basis. Wherever we feel there are gaps, they will be filled up in consultation with the Union government,” Sahay added.

An uneasy calm prevails, particularly in some lower and central Assam districts, after the Gauhati High Court determined that residency certificates issued by panchayat authorities were invalid.
Some 47 lakh people, mostly women, had submitted these certificates as a link document to prove their citizenship.

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