MHA issues guidelines to Assam and neighbouring states ahead of draft NRC publication

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New Delhi, July 25: The Union home ministry on Wednesday asked the governments of Assam and neighbouring states to ensure maintenance of law and order in the run up to and post-publication of the second and draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) on July 30 when the fate of all 3.29 crore applicants will be decided.
The MHA advised the Assam government to set up a state-level coordination committee under the chairmanship of chief secretary to ensure coordination among state agencies, NRC authorities and central agencies. It also asked the state government to activate round-the-clock control rooms at the state capital and district headquarters to receive complaints and coordinate prompt response.
“The Registrar General of India (RGI) has been asked to use all means of communication including websites, toll-free numbers, SMS, etc., to provide information to public about the draft NRC. An intensive public awareness campaign has been launched to disseminate information regarding the NRC process, options available for individuals whose names do not figure in the draft NRC, the procedure and timeline for filing claims and objections, etc. so as to address the concerns of people left out of the draft list,” the MHA said in a statement.
Earlier, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had in a statement assured that every individual will get justice and will be treated in a humane manner.
“All individuals will have sufficient opportunity for the remedies available under the law. Government wants to make it clear that after draft NRC publication on July 30, adequate opportunity for claims and objections will be available. All claims and objections will be duly examined,” he had said.
The MHA also advised the Assam government that no action should be initiated by the administration or the police based on the draft NRC.
“There is no question of referring the persons whose names do not figure in the draft NRC to the Foreigners’ Tribunal as people are entitled to file claims and objections and due opportunity has to be given to them before final publication. The question of referring any person to a detention centre based on NRC exercise also does not arise. State government has been asked to issue clear instructions in this regard to all administrative and police functionaries,” the statement said.
On Tuesday, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the state government would provide security to all Indian citizens and no one should worry about the “after affects” of publication of the NRC.
The part draft of the NRC was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, wherein the names of 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated.
The massive exercise, aimed at identifying the illegal immigrants in the north-eastern state bordering Bangladesh, is being carried out following a decision in 2005 after a series of meetings involving the central and state governments and the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).
Minority groups have voiced their fears about the exercise after around 1.5 lakh people whose names were in the first part draft of the exercise of updation of the NRC now risk earning the tag of illegal immigrant. (Agencies)