GUWAHATI, July 30 - Former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta today said that with the publication of the final draft of the NRC, a part of the Assam Accord has been realized.
�No political party should claim credit for it. It is just because of the bold steps by the Supreme Court that the NRC � which is the first such document on genuine Indian citizens in Assam to be published after 1951 � is soon going to see the light of the day,� Mahanta, who had led the six-year-old Assam Agitation launched to flush out illegal migrants, told The Assam Tribune.
Mahanta said though the draft NRC may have some anomalies, it would be addressed in the days to come.
�Genuine Indian citizens, who do not have their names in the draft NRC, should immediately make their claims. There should not be any apprehension in the minds of the people,� he said, adding that certain sections were trying to spread a false propaganda against the exercise even at the global level.
The NRC, he said, would give a scope to the government to probe the credentials of those whose names are not in the document. He claimed that his government in 1986 had made a proposal to the Central government for updating the NRC, but it was rejected.
According to Mahanta, it was because of the efforts of the octogenarian Pradeep Bhuyan, founder of Faculty HS School, that the Supreme Court first intervened. �Other organizations came much later,� he said.
Asked about the possible fate of lakhs of illegal migrants detected after the complete NRC is published, Mahanta said the Central government should aggressively pursue the matter with Bangladesh government so that the neighbouring country takes them.
The AGP leader also said it was not practical to fix 1951 as the cut-off date for identification of illegal migrants. �Constitutionally it might be okay, but practically it is not possible to implement it at the grassroots level due to various complicacies. That is why we agreed to 1971 in the Assam Accord,� he said.
Post NRC, Mahanta said it is incumbent upon the government to check further infiltration and explore possibilities of legally sending back the detected migrants.
Asked if the illegal migrants could become a separate community in the State scrapped of certain rights if they could not be deported, Mahanta said, �Assamese are already 47 per cent of the population in the State. If the Bengali-speaking migrants are allowed to stay, the Assamese-speaking people would become minority. We need to look into this language aspect as well.�