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Centre Asks Assam Govt Not to Act Against Anyone on Basis of Draft NRC

In an advisory, the ministry also asked the governments of Assam and neighbouring states to ensure peace and maintenance of law and order.


Updated:July 25, 2018, 5:20 PM IST
Centre Asks Assam Govt Not to Act Against Anyone on Basis of Draft NRC
File photo of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

New Delhi: Ahead of the publication of the draft NRC, the Home Ministry on Wednesday asked the Assam government not to take any action against those whose names do not figure in the list of the state's citizens.

In an advisory, the ministry also asked the governments of Assam and neighbouring states to ensure peace and maintenance of law and order.

"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 advisory said.

The home ministry said the Assam government has been advised to set up a state-level coordination committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary to ensure coordination among state agencies, NRC authorities and central agencies.

"Round-the-clock control rooms at the state capital and district headquarters are to be activated to receive complaints and coordinate prompt response," it said.

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 ministry said the question of referring any person to a detention centre based on the NRC exercise also does not arise.

"The state government has been asked to issue clear instructions in this regard to all administrative and police functionaries," it said.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had 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 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.

On July 30, the fate of all 3.29 crore applicants will be decided.

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).

When the NRC was first prepared in Assam in 1951, the state had 80 lakh citizens.

The process of identification of illegal immigrants in Assam has been debated and has become a contentious issue in the state's politics.

A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979.

It had culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985, in the presence of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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