GUWAHATI: The Muslim-majority districts in Assam have recorded a high inclusion of names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the final draft of which will be published on August 31.
Sharing details of inclusion and exclusion, the state’s Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said the inclusion of names in Dhubri district was 91.74 per cent. Similarly, it was 92.33 per cent in Karimganj district, 91.96 per cent in Hailakandi district, 92.78 per cent in South Salmara district, 86.60 per cent in Barpeta district and 85.88 in Nagaon district.
In contrast, the percentages of inclusion in two tribal-majority districts of Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong were 85.69 and 84.53 respectively. Also, the names of 17.89 applicants were not included in Sonitpur district and 15.59 per cent in Baksa district.
The Muslims are in a majority in Karimganj, Dhubri, Hailakandi, South Salmara, Barpeta and Nagaon districts. Dhubri, South Salmara and Karimganj are the three Assam districts which share a border with Bangladesh. Sonitpur and Baksa have recorded high percentages of exclusion. Ironically, Sonitpur is Assam’s cultural capital and Baksa falls under Bodo heartland.
The highest inclusion of names was recorded in Upper Assam’s Majuli district, which is the seat of state’s Vaishnavite culture. Similarly, Charaideo, Jorhat and Sivasagar in Upper Assam have recorded high inclusions. The migrant Muslim population is very less in Upper Assam.
The state government released the figures just weeks after expressing suspicion on the possible inclusion of names of illegal immigrants in draft NRC. Last month, based on the submission of NRC Assam coordinator Prateek Hajela, the Supreme Court had turned down the request of Centre and Assam government to conduct 20 per cent random sample re-verification of documents in the districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent sample re-verification in the other districts.
Hajela had told the court that re-verification of documents of 27 per cent of the applicants was already done during the process of filing of claims and objections. However, the state government said it had no idea of the process of re-verification.
BJP MLA Shiladitya Dev felt Assam would not get a correct NRC as a conspiracy was allegedly at work.
“The NRC process should be one where everyone can contribute. He (Hajela) goes and submits his report in a sealed envelope without discussing anything with the state government. Isn’t it a democratically-elected government? It is alarming that the names of many tribals were not included in NRC whereas Barpeta and Dhubri and the districts bordering Bangladesh have recorded high inclusion. There is a conspiracy going on and there is negligence. I feel we are not going to get a correct NRC,” the Hojai MLA told journalists.
He said when he recently highlighted a case where the name of a declared foreigner, languishing in a detention camp, was found to be included in NRC, Hajela had allegedly got it deleted from the computerized system.
Meanwhile, opposition Congress slammed the BJP for raking up NRC in the Assembly.
“We want a correct NRC but the BJP wants to keep the issue alive. The NRC is being updated under the direct monitoring of the Supreme Court. Their raising it in the Assembly is contempt of the court. If needed, we will bring it to the court’s attention. Prateek Hajela had submitted his report in a sealed envelope as the court directed him to do so. By criticising him, they are actually criticising the court,” MLA and Congress leader, Rockybul Hussain, alleged.
Highest inclusion (in per cent)
Majuli – 98.38
Charaideo – 97.12
Jorhat – 95.34
Nalbari – 95.22
Sivasagar – 94.94
Highest exclusion (in per cent)
Hojai – 32.99
Darrang – 30.99
Bongaigaon – 22.51
Kamrup (Metropolitan) – 17.89
Sonitpur – 16.71