Authorities of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam have ordered the deletion of ‘ineligible names’ from the ‘final’ list that was published in August last year. This comes at a time when the state government has insisted that 10-20 percent re-verification of all included names should be done in order to get a ‘correct’ register.
The NRC, published in August 2019 under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court, excluded 19 lakh-odd applicants out of around 3.3 crore applicants.
Sources told NDTV that the names to be deleted run into the thousands.
Hitesh Dev Sarma, the state coordinator of the NRC, explained in a letter dated 13 October that some of these ‘ineligible persons’ are persons declared foreigners by Foreigners Tribunals, those marked as Doubtful Voters (DV) by the election officials or those whose cases are pending at Foreigners Tribunals (PFTs) and their descendants, reported The Indian Express.
“You are, therefore, requested to submit the list of such persons who are not eligible for having their names in the NRC along with speaking order justifying reasons for each case for necessary action for deletion of such names,” the letter read.
Sarma told The Indian Express that they are in the process of deleting names that have been erroneous inclusions into the NRC.
19 Lakh Applicants Were Left Out of NRC
A draft version of the NRC that was released in July excluded over 40 lakh people. The final list that was released the next month showed the number as 19 lakh applicants.
When the final list was published Assam, BJP leaders slammed stating genuine citizens, including refugees who migrated from Bangladesh before 1971, have been excluded.
In September, the Assam government made its stance of demand for 10-20 percent re-verification of names very clear.
In July 2019, the Assam government and the Centre appealed to the Supreme Court for such a re-verification exercise, but it was dismissed after former NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela stated that re-verification of 27 percent names was already done.
The apex court had mentioned that the court could consider re-verifying 10 percent of the names included in the second draft of the NRC.
A total of 425 people are currently lodged in the six detention centres in the state.
(With inputs from The Indian Express, NDTV)