North East

Rights, privileges of none to be curtailed post NRC: Assam minister

Guwahati, July 27: Nobody’s rights and privileges will be curtailed if his or her name does not figure in the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published on July 30, senior Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma today said.
“A draft is a draft. Nobody’s rights and privileges will be taken away on the basis of the draft NRC. No one will be sent to any detention camp,” he told a press conference.
After the final publication, there will be claims, objections and correction procedure and people will be able to avail these services, Sarma who is the finance minister of the state, said.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had yesterday stated that no one will be treated as foreigner if his or her name does not figure in the final draft.
Assam Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia told PTI that the police are carrying out community engagement programmes to avoid misunderstanding and keeping a strict watch on social media so that no fake news or hate messages are circulated.
The police’s main intention is to prevent build-up of any sort of fear psychosis in the society after publication of the final draft of the NRC.
“We are doing community engagement programmes to avoid any misunderstanding and lack of faith on the system. Our teams are regularly meeting village elders, student leaders and respectable persons in communities,” Saikia said, adding that there is no tension as such.
“We have requested all communities to remain alert for this. We have launched a campaign on social media to avoid any provocative message by anyone. We are giving very important focus to social media,” he added.
The DGP said that they are trying to make people aware of social media platforms as an interactive place for all. It should be used for positive purpose, he said.
When asked about the preparedness of the police force, Saikia said the Assam Police is fully prepared and alert to maintain peace and order in the society at any cost after the final NRC draft is out.
Meanwhile, several neighbouring states have kept their police forces on alert to thwart possible infiltration of illegal immigrants post-July 30.
Assam shares its boundaries with Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura.
The Arunachal Pradesh government has asked the police department to maintain vigil at all check gates, while the Meghalaya Police has been kept on alert along the inter-state border with Assam, officials of the two states said.
The Nagaland government is deploying additional forces along the border.
Mizoram Additional Secretary (Home) Lalbiakzama said no specific instructions have been issued as there have been no specific threats in the state till date.
The Centre has already sent over 22,000 paramilitary forces personnel to beef up security in Assam and adjoining states.
The union home ministry has also asked the Assam government not to take any action against those whose names do not figure in the NRC.
The NRC is being updated with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for legitimate claim to Indian citizenship in Assam.
The first draft of the NRC was published during the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, containing 1.9 crore names out of a total applications of 3.29 crore people in Assam.
Assam is the only state in the country having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951. (PTI)