GUWAHATI, April 3 - With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, a number of foreign nationals may get an opportunity to cast votes as there is every possibility that the electoral rolls of Assam include names of a substantial number of illegal migrants. A large number of fake or forged voters �identity cards were detected during the process of verification of documents for inclusion of names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which proved beyond doubt that the electoral rolls contains names of illegal migrants.
Highly placed official sources admitted before The Assam Tribune that as there is no mechanism to go for thorough check of the nationality of the persons before inclusion of their names in the electoral rolls, the possibility of inclusion of names of foreigners cannot be ruled out. Sources revealed that during the verification of the documents submitted by the applicants for inclusion of names in the NRC, it was found that more than 2,000 persons, who were declared as foreigners by the Tribunals set under the provisions of the Foreigners� Tribunals, submitted voters� identity cards for inclusion of names in the NRC. The number may also increase as the final verification of the documents is now going on.
Sources pointed out that names of more than 40 lakh applicants were not included in the draft of the NRC and names of majority of them, who attained 18 years of age, must have been included in the electoral rolls. �We cannot yet say that all the 40 lakh people whose names did not appear in the draft of the NRC, are foreign nationals. But the fact remains that they are suspected nationals and they will have an opportunity to cast votes in the ensuing polls,� sources admitted. Interestingly, more than five lakh of the people, whose names did not appear in the draft of the NRC, did not file claims for inclusion of their names and no one is sure names of how many of them feature in the electoral rolls.
Moreover, during the verification process, a number of fake or forged voters� identity cards were detected and in some instances, some people even had such identity cards in different names, which proved beyond any doubt that the voters� lists are not correct, which will enable suspected foreigners to cast votes to elect representatives to the Parliament.
Replying to a question as to how suspected foreigners managed to get names included in the electoral rolls, sources admitted that there is no foolproof mechanism to check the nationality of persons before inclusion of names in the voters� lists. Sources said that during the revision of the electoral rolls every year, thorough checking of documents is not done as was done in case of the NRC, while, there is no provision for backend verification of the documents. Moreover, majority of the forgeries during the process of updating the NRC were detected during the family tree verification of the applicants, which is not done in case of preparation of the electoral rolls.