Assam releases first draft of citizens’ register with 1.9 cr names

+100%-

GUWAHATI, JANUARY 2: The first draft of the much-awaited National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam has listed 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants as legal Indian citizens in a massive exercise aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh.

People flocked to seva kendras across Assam in large numbers since morning on Monday to check whether they figured on the list containing the names of those who were recognised as citizens of India in the Supreme Court-monitored exercise, hours after the document was released at midnight.

A top official said there is no need for anyone to panic and that other names are in various stages of verification. “There is no need for anyone to panic. Other names are in various stages of verification and as soon as the verification is done, we will come out with another draft… Substantial progress has been made, but still lots of work needs to be done,” Registrar General of India Sailesh said, releasing the first draft.

“This (NRC) is unprecedented. There is no example in this country. I doubt if there is any other country in the world having such a complex methodology to determine the citizenship of the people,” the RGI told newsmen.

Security was tightened across the state to ensure law and order. Asked about a possible time frame for the next draft, he said the NRC authority will present its case before the Supreme Court, under whose monitoring the document is being prepared, at the next hearing in April and the date would be decided accordingly.

The RGI said the ground work for the mammoth exercise began in December 2013 and so far, 40 hearings have taken place in the Supreme Court during the last three years.

Long queues

People, carrying documents to prove their citizenship, thronged the seva kendras and waited patiently in long queues as soon as they opened at 8 am, to check if their names were included in the draft.

Many families claimed that names of only some of their members were found in the first draft, while others said none featured on the list. The Office of the State Coordinator of National Register of Citizens, Assam, has provided five alternatives to check for the names included in the draft. The first way is to check the printed version of the list at the NRC Seva Kendras between 10 am and 4 pm till January 31 on all working days.

The second way is to check online at www.nrcassam.nic.in, www.assam.mygov.in, www.assam.gov.in and www.homeandpolitical.assam.gov.in. The third way is through automatic receipt of SMS by preregistering applicant’s mobile number by sending an SMS to 9765556555 or 9108464438 and 9108464450.

The fourth way is sending demand SMS to the same phone numbers by typing ARN space and the 21-digit application receipt number (ARN).

One could also call the 24X7 tollfree helpline number 15107 from Assam and 18003453762 from outside Assam. (PTI)