GUWAHATI, Dec 26 - The persons, whose names do not appear on the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published on December 31 should not be worried as it will mean that their documents are in the process of verification, said the State Coordinator for Updating the NRC, Prateek Hajela. However, the response from other states, where documents were sent for verification is still not encouraging as majority of such documents are yet to be returned by the concerned State Governments.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Hajela said that the process is going on smoothly and the first draft would be published by the midnight of December 31. He said that the same would be available online and the printed copies would be made available in all the NRC sewa kendras at 8 am on January 1. The office of the NRC coordinator�s office will also start an SMS service for the convenience of the people and a detailed advertisement in this regard would be issued in a day or two.
Hajela said that the first draft of the NRC would not contain photographs of anyone. It would only contain the names of the Indian citizens and the photographs would appear only in the complete draft of the NRC to be published after the completion of the verification process, which is now going on. The first draft will contain the names of persons whose verification process has been completed and the complete draft will contain names of all the Indian citizens living in Assam. �As we are now publishing the first draft only with the names of persons whose verification process is complete, no one should be worried if his or her name does not appear in it. We have already launched a publicity drive to make the people aware and we hope that the people are now fully aware of the situation,� he added.
Replying to a question, Hajela admitted that the response from other states, where documents were sent for verification, has not yet been very encouraging. He said that about 5.50 lakh documents were sent for verification in different states of the country. Those documents were submitted by the people from other states, who are now living in Assam. But so far, only around 1.50 lakh documents have been received by the State Coordinator�s Office and names of a large number of people from other states would not be included in the first draft as the documents submitted by them are yet to be verified by the concerned state governments.
On the verification process, Hajela said that the officers and employees engaged in the job are working round the clock. But the process of verification takes time as it has to be done manually and there are cases where the decisions of the Deputy Commissioners are required. To make a correct NRC, the process of verification has to be carried out at different layers and the decisions have to be taken judiciously. The Deputy Commissioners cannot check all the documents themselves and they have to designate the job to other senior officers. But in some cases, the Deputy Commissioners need to take the decisions themselves and as the process has to be carried out manually, it takes time, he added. �We are making all possible efforts to prepare a correct NRC and that is why, the verification process is taking time,� he added.
Hajela also reminded the people that even after the publication of the complete draft, there would be ample scope for filing claims and objections and no genuine Indian citizen should feel apprehensive.