Guwahati: The Assam government on Wednesday welcomed Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be updated afresh and will be a nationwide exercise.
While welcoming the decision to update the NRC again, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma asked the central government to declare the earlier exercise null and void and to update the citizens’ register keeping the same cut-off year for the entire country.
"The NRC we have today is not an acceptable document. It should be rejected. The Home Minister said there will be a national NRC after the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) where there would be no confusion," said Sarma. “The existing NRC should be rejected as it included doubtful names and excluded names of many genuine Indians. We must accept the same cut-off date for the NRC as the rest of India."
Sarma said that the people of Assam voted for the BJP in many recent elections and showed support for the CAB, scheduled to be introduced in the Parliament’s ongoing Winter Session. The CAB seeks to grant citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of stay in the country even if they do not possess proper documents.
The updated NRC, published on August 31, has been the subject of a controversy amid allegations of many irregularities. There have been claims that illegal migrants who entered Assam after the cut-off date of March 25, 1971, found their names in the updated register of Indian citizens while names of many indigenous people were left out.
Names of more than 19 lakh applicants were left out of the final NRC published.