NEW DELHI, July 13 - The Assam Public Works (APW) has filed an additional affidavit in the Supreme Court, submitting that the indigenous Indians of Assam need not apply for inclusion in the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The pre-March 1971 Bangladeshi immigrants will have to apply for identification and regularisation as Indian citizens, before being added to the NRC.
The APW has pleaded that a simple modality to compile an NRC for Assam may involve issuance of notification declaring that the indigenous people named in the NRC, 1951 and their descendants are indigenous Indians of Assam.
The APW affidavit further suggested that all people who are residents of the State since Independence or are descendants of forefathers who were residents since Independence or as included in the NRC of 1951, be regarded as indigenous Indians of Assam (IIA) with area-specific tribal surnames and other indigenous area-specific names.
Meanwhile, APW president Aabhijit Sharma said that the NRC of Assam must be compiled on the basis of Rule 4 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003 through house-to-house enumeration of Indian households. Enumerators will record only the relevant information as will be contained in the NRC.
The APW affidavit said that the NRC modality is based on a specific cut-off date and year, March 24, 1971. It is the cut-off date for identification of the Bangladeshi foreigners. But the indigenous people of Assam have nothing to do with this date.
He said that compilation of the NRC must not be linked with identification and regularisation process of Bangladeshi immigrants based on 1971 as a cut-off year.
The NRC case is scheduled to come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. The latest entrants in the case are Congress MLA Himanta Biswa Sarma and few other individuals and organisations including the Asam Sahitya Sabha, who have all filed intervention petitions.
The APW has also supported the view of Himanta Biswa Sarma that all people of Indian origin settled in Assam permanently from other parts of India be included in the NRC.
The pre-March 25, 1971, Bangladeshis will apply for identification as Indian citizens and their names, after due verification, will be added to the NRC of indigenous Indian citizens as per the court�s direction.
The APW said that the important issue is to undertake and compile an NRC correctly, which only will resolve the simmering Bangladeshi issue plaguing the region. A correct NRC will result in a correct voters� list, which is vital now for Assam, it said.
�Even if we allow one or two months to change the modality through notification, yet the time-frame as fixed by the court can be achieved as all mechanisms are in place,� it said.
The affidavit said many organisations are demanding inclusion of some other categories of people in the NRC, which may be termed as the base NRC.
The APW advocated that the demands of various groups be heard by the Supreme Court at a later date.
Meanwhile, several organisations including the Asam Sahitya Sabha, All Assam Tea Tribe Students Association, Bhojpuri Students� Parishad and Barak Valley Human Rights Society have also filed intervention petitions in the case.