‘NPR-NRC Not Linked’: Shah’s Remark Contradicts His Own Ministry

Government has decided to create NRIC based on the information collected under NPR, Rijiju told the RS in 2014.

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“There is no link between NRC and NPR, and I want to state it very clearly that the two laws are also different,” Shah said in an interview with ANI.
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In an interview to ANI Editor Smita Prakash on Tuesday, 24 December, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that there is no relation between National Register of Citizen (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

“There is no link between NRC and NPR, and I want to state it very clearly that the two are also different,” Shah said.

‘NPR-NRC Not Linked’: Shah’s Remark Contradicts His Own Ministry
(Photo Courtesy: Arnica Kala/The Quint)

But the stand taken by Shah now is different from what the Union Home Ministry had said in Parliament in 2014. Here’s a fact-check of Shah’s claim:

‘No Link Between NRC and NPR’

While Shah has categorically denied that there is any link between NRC and NPR, the home ministry, in 2014, had apprised the Parliament that, “The government has now decided to create the National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) based on the information collected under the scheme of NPR by verifying the citizenship status of all individuals in the country.”

‘NPR-NRC Not Linked’: Shah’s Remark Contradicts His Own Ministry
(Photo Courtesy: Arnica Kala/The Quint)

This answer was given in response to a question on integration of Aadhar card with NPR by the then Union Home Minister of State (MoS), Kiren Rijiju, in the Rajya Sabha on 23 July 2014.

A similar statement was made by Rijiju in the Upper House same year in November, where he said that the NPR is the first step towards creation of NRIC.

“The National Population Register (NPR) is a register of all the usual residents which include citizens and non-citizens as well. The NPR is the first step towards creation of National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC) by verifying the citizenship status of every usual residents,” Rijiju had told the Parliament. 

The only difference between NRIC and NRC, here, is the fact that the latter was used specifically in the case of Assam, to differentiate it from the national exercise.

Video Editor: Vishal Kumar and Mohd Irshad Alam

But if this isn’t proof enough, there was another answer given by the Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai in the Lok Sabha in April 2015, which too stated that the NPR database will be used for creating the NRIC.

NRC Announced in Gazette Notification

Shah also said that there is no discussion on pan-India NRC. Amid the ongoing protests against the contentious Citizenship Act, Shah added, “There is no debate around this as there is no discussion on this right now.”

But this statement is also contradictory to a gazette notification that was issued by the Home Ministry on 31 July 2019. The notification had said that the population register will be updated “in pursuance of sub-rule (4) of rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003”.

And this Rule 3, which is mentioned in the gazette, is about “NRIC” and sub-rule (4) provides for “Preparation of the National Register of Indian Citizens”. Interestingly, all-India NRC was introduced through the amendment made in 2003 by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.

Further, Shah at various occasions has himself said that NRC will be implemented across the country.

‘NPR-NRC Not Linked’: Shah’s Remark Contradicts His Own Ministry
(Photo Courtesy: Arnica Kala/The Quint)

Interestingly, this statement comes just days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there is no discussion on nationwide NRC and only lies are being spread about the process.

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