GUWAHATI: After a six-year-long mammoth exercise that cost Rs 1,200 crore and entailed the examination of 60 crore documents submitted by applicants, a whopping 19.06 lakh people have been excluded from the updated final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.
But the number of people excluded is significantly down from the 41.1 lakh in the revised draft released in June.
Over 3.11 crore of the 3.3 crore applicants have now been included in the list. Most political parties, including the ruling BJP and Congress, were livid at the inclusion of many illegal immigrants as well as the absence of genuine citizens in the list.
Assam BJP president Ranjit Kumar Das said, “We do not trust this NRC. We appeal to the Central and state governments to prepare a nationwide NRC.”
Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the architect of the BJP’s rise in the Northeast, was also not happy with the list and said, “As requested by Central and state governments, at least 20% reverification (border districts) and 10% (other districts) should be allowed by Supreme Court for a fair NRC.”
The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which was born out of the anti-immigrants’ agitation and is an ally of the BJP, said the number of exclusions was “ridiculously small”.
ALSO READ: Errors galore, families ripped apart
“We all in Assam hoped for an error-free NRC but it appears that the existence of the Assamese will be further threatened from now on,” AGP president Atul Bora said.
Former Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, a Congressman, said illegal immigrants have been included in the list. He said several leaders had earlier asserted in Parliament that the number of illegal immigrants in Assam was anything from 30 lakh to 50 lakh.
The All Assam Students’ Union, which has spearheaded protests against illegal immigrants, said it would file an appeal in the SC asking it to remove all the faults in the NRC.
But AIUDF, which draws its support mainly from minorities, had no problem with it. “The issue persisted for 40 years as no govt tried to solve it.
We thank the SC for its order to update the NRC,” its spokesman Aminul Islam said.