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Foreigners� names in State rolls likely

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Aug 29 � Following large-scale allegations, the Ministry of Law and Justice has conceded the possibility of presence of names of foreigners in electoral rolls in Assam.

Though the Election Commission of India and Electoral Registration Officers take every precaution to ensure that no foreign national gets enrolled in voter list, the possibility of some foreign nationals getting enrolled by giving false declaration and getting electoral photo identity cards cannot be ruled out, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Salman Khursid said in a Rajya Sabha reply.

In Assam, voters whose citizenship is either doubtful or disputed are called �D� voters and letter �D� is marked against their entries in the electoral rolls to identify them. Their cases are referred to the appropriate authorities for determining their citizenships status, the Minister said.

The names are, however, not deleted from the electoral roll but they are not allowed to cast vote till their cases are favourably disposed of by the appropriate authorities and tribunals. In Assam electoral photo identity cards are not issued, he added.

The Minister further said that based on the judgement of the Supreme Court, of February 6, 1995 in Lal Babu Hussian and others Vs Electoral Registration Officers and others, guidelines for electoral registration officers about determination of citizenship of doubtful applicants for inclusion of names in the rolls were issued to all Chief Electoral Officers by the Election Commission.

The guidelines were repeated in subsequent years and now, they have been incorporated in the handbook of Electoral Registration Officers published in 2008, to be followed as part of standing instruction by the Electoral Registration Officers, Khursid said.

Meanwhile, AGP MP Kumar Deepak Das on Monday sought to raise the issue of demarcation of the land boundary between India and Bangladesh, alleging that land belonging to the country is being given away to the neighbouring country.

However, owing to the prevailing pandemonium in the Upper House, the Chairman declined to allow Kumar Deepak Das to raise the issue during the Zero Hour. Das though struck a chord with BJP and BPF, who rose in his support.

Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi had last week said that India was ready to exchange the land in adverse possession and complete the long-pending demarcation problem. He had claimed that India would get back more land than Bangladesh.

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