GUWAHATI, March 17 � The State Government will submit its report concerning updating of the national register of citizens (NRC) to the Centre on April 15, and the formal process of updating will begin in about a month�s time thereafter.
Informing this to the media after a meeting with the Group of Ministers (GoM) this afternoon, the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) and representative bodies of 26 indigenous communities said that the Government agreed to re-insert the �place of birth� in the form for NRC update after it was removed in the earlier form.
�We told the GoM to have this crucial provision included, as it is mandatory under the Citizenship Act. It was also agreed that in order to be an Indian citizen, the person concerns has to have his/her name in either the NRC of 1951 or the voters lists between 1952 to 1971,� AASU adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya said.
Dr Bhattacharya said that the delegation of the ethnic communities also prevailed upon the GoM not to have ration cards as the main document in view of the large-scale anomalies associated with its procurement.
�It can at best be a supporting document and in event of any allegation, it will cease to be a document,� he added.
The indigenous bodies further called for a simultaneous implementation of the NRC update rather than having any pilot project as was done at Barpeta and Chhaygaon in 2010.
�The Government agreed to this but said that it did not have the logistics to implement the project all over the State at one go, and, therefore, advocated a phase-wise implementation, preferably in three phases,� Dr Bhattacharya said, adding that the delegation insisted on distribution of the forms at the same time.
It was also agreed that the Government machinery would distribute the forms in every household and also collect those later.
�Our stress is on ensuring that not even a single foreigner enters his/her name in the NRC, which will be a constitutional safeguard for the indigenous populace in the face of unabated Bangladeshi infiltration,� Dr Bhattacharya said, adding that a foolproof scrutiny was to be done of the entire process.
The GoM will submit its report to the Chief Minister on March 26, following which the State Government will submit it to the Centre on April 15. �The formal updating process is expected to begin after one month of submission of the report to the Centre,� Dr Bhattacharya said.
To a question on a possible clash between the ongoing voter photos identity card issuance process and the NRC update, Dr Bhattacharya said that it was in touch with the Election Commission and the Union Home Ministry to ensure that in the event of non-uniformity on the citizenship status of a person in voter identity card and NRC, the latter should prevail.
On the issue of D-voters, Dr Bhattacharya said that it was to be decided by the court.
Aditya Khaklari, general secretary of All Assam Tribal Sangha, said that the indigenous bodies would form monitoring cells to prevent any anomalies in the NRC update process.
The GoM was chaired by Revenue Minister Dr Prithvi Majhi included several ministers.