Assam seeks report of those not filing claims


Guwahati, May 7: The Assam government has sought details of around 380,000 people, who it says did not file claims and objections even after their names were found missing in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), a document aimed at identifying illegal immigrants, a top government official said.
The final draft, published in July 30, 2018, had excluded a total of 40,07,707 names of whom 36.2 lakhs have filed claims for inclusion of their names in the list.
“We need the information on those who did not file claims in order to prepare for filing references to the Foreigners’ Tribunals,” said Ashutosh Agnihotri, commissioner and secretary, Home and Political Department.
He said that last month, a letter was sent to the office of the state coordinator of the NRC (SCNRC) through the Border Organisation of the Assam Police seeking these details. Agnihotri also said that those whose names are not in the NRC when it is published [the Supreme Court has set July 31 2019 deadline] have the option of approaching the Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) against their exclusion. “If there are still individuals who do not approach the FTs on their own, the state will do so on their behalf,” Agnihotri said.
The Supreme Court is monitoring the NRC update process in Assam. People whose names appeared in the first NRC, published in 1951, or in any of the electoral rolls up to March 24, 1971, and their dependents are to be included in the current citizens’ register.
The NRC update was a key issue of the Assam Accord that was signed between All Assam Students’ Union and the central government in 1985, at the end of six-year-long Assam Agitation that sought detection and deportation of illegal migrants from the state. There are other official documents as well which can be used for the purpose.
The state government hopes that details of the 3.8 lakh persons who have not filed claims, too, will help it keep an eye on their whereabouts.
“It will help.. Otherwise and like so many other declared foreigners have, they may also disappear,” said Agnihotri.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, another person familiar with the exercise confirmed that the state government’s “request to the SCNRC for information on non-claimants, clearly mentions that it wishes to collect their biometrics too”. (Courtesy: HT)