Fair And Accurate NRC Unlikely, Feel Guwahatians

Monday, 24 February 2020


Fair And Accurate NRC Unlikely, Feel Guwahatians

Nehal Jain | August 31, 2019 12:35 hrs

GUWAHATI: The final list of National Register of Citizens (NRC) is scheduled to be published on August 31 amidst confusion and chaos prevailing all over the state of Assam. Many people are still apprehensive of whether the NRC final list will be error-free as the accuracy of the entire process remains questionable.

“There have been multiple errors in the draft lists published earlier. Not only have there been cases of corruption by NRC officials but also of harassment caused to citizens during the verification process. So, I really doubt if the final list would be error-free or will it just be another gimmick,” expressed a citizen of Guwahati under condition of anonymity.

In the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) released on 30 July 2018, the names of 40,70,707 had been excluded. An additional exclusion list comprising the names of 1,02,462 persons to the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in Assam in July 2019. With the release of the additional exclusion list, the NRC has so far excluded over 41 lakh people.

The persons whose names appear in the additional exclusion list are the ones who were included in the draft NRC published on July 30 last year, but subsequently found to be ineligible. With that being the case, the accuracy of the entire NRC updation process is being questioned.

Raising further questions on the accuracy of the list, families across the state were still making rounds of government offices to claim inclusion one day ahead of the final list publishing.
On the other hand, certain sections of people had become so irked by the entire NRC process that they decided to purposefully not apply for claims and objections. The irritation levels became such that they started throwing a challenge to the government to disprove the genuineness of their citizenships despite them not figuring in the NRC.

“I had submitted all the documents required for NRC, including the legacy data back in 2015. Yet, in the draft released last year, my name had gone missing. The names of my wife, our children as well as grandchildren had all been published correctly but they somehow missed my name. Now, I do not have the time to again stand in queues and submit the same documents all over again so I’ve decided to not apply for claims,” Sunil Jain, a businessman from Guwahati told G Plus.

Further expressing his discontent with the entire process of NRC, he added, “I think it’s the fault of the government and they should be the ones to address the issue and figure out how the name of one member of the family was excluded from the list, instead of harassing the public.”

Similarly, dozens of people from Assam, after spending the better part of their lives serving the country, have been left out of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). While some of these including decorated army officers filed for claims, a few decided against it. 

Sana Ullah Ahmed, Azmal Hoque, and Bir Bahadur Thapa are just some of the army-men whose names were left out of the draft NRC.

Apart from them, there’s another retired army officer, Pushp Paul Singh, who informed G Plus that he didn’t apply for the NRC in the first place, let alone applying for claims. He said, “I’ve served for years in the Indian army but my army documents are not accepted as a proof of my citizenship. When a person is enrolled in the Indian army, their nationality is first verified but since those documents were not being accepted, I did not apply for NRC.” 

89% people excluded from NRC suffer from mental torture: Survey

A recent survey by the National Campaign Against Torture (NCAT) has revealed that of the 41 lakh people excluded from Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), about 89 percent of them suffer from extreme mental torture for the fear of being tagged a foreigner and the consequences that follow thereafter. 

The report titled, “Assam’s NRC: Four Million Tales of Mental Torture, Trauma and Humiliation” was released on Friday, August 23. 

According to a report by The Hindu, the NCAT conducted a field survey in Baksa, Goalpara and Kamrup districts from July 16 to July 20. 

The respondents interviewed in the survey mentioned that they had been suffering from extreme anxiety as they fear deportation and separation from family members. They also informed that there exists a financial issue which prevents them from appearing before the Foreigners’ Tribunals or even approach Gauhati High Court and the Supreme Court of India. 

“The process of getting my family members’ names included in the NRC has been very harassing. Even after submission of all necessary documents and countless visits to the seva kendras for verification, our names haven’t yet been published and we’re really scared about what would happen on and after August 31st,”expressed Biki Bakshi, a resident of Narangi area of Guwahati.

It is to be mentioned that as many as 31 people have committed suicide in relation to their names not being included in the NRC since July 2015.

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