GUWAHATI, Aug 19 - Taking a cue from Assam, the Government of Jharkhand is also examining the feasibility of preparing a National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the state and a team of senior officers from the state recently visited Assam to know how the NRC is being prepared.
Though Jharkhand does not have any international border with Bangladesh, the state is also facing the problem from illegal migrants from the neighbouring country and the problem became serious at least in two districts bordering West Bengal. Illegal migrants from Bangladesh enter India through the porous international border and start moving into other states and Jharkhand already started feeling the pinch.
According to information available, the illegal migrants, who entered Jharkhand, managed to sneak into India mostly through the international border in West Bengal. India has around 4096 kilometers of international border with Bangladesh and West Bengal has the highest length of 2217 kilometers of border with the neighbouring country.
As the problem of infiltration has posed a threat to the identity of indigenous people in at least two districts of Jharkhand, the Government of the state has started exploring the feasibility of preparing an NRC in the state by taking lessons from the exercise carried out in Assam. A team of senior officers of the Government of Jharkhand recently visited Assam and held discussions with the officers of the Assam Government, State NRC Coordinator and office bearers of the All Assam Students� Union (AASU). However, the modalities of preparing an NRC in Jharkhand will have to be different from that of Assam. In Assam, the NRC of 1951 was the basis on which it was updated, while, as per the provisions of the Assam Accord, midnight of March 24, 1971 was the cut off date. On the other hand, there was no NRC of 1951 in Jharkhand and the cut off date for identification of foreigners would be different.
Meanwhile, commenting on the AASU�s discussion with the team of officials of Jharkhand Government, the chief adviser of the students� body , Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the officers wanted to know the reasons for preparation of the NRC in Assam and the modalities used for it. �We gave them a detailed account of the events leading to the updating of the NRC right from the first memorandum to the Prime Minister in 1980, the reasons and details of the Assam movement and Assam Accord and the modalities used for it. We also told them that the publication of the draft was possible because of constant monitoring of the Supreme Court,� he added. He also said that the AASU members gave details of the meetings with the Government of India at different levels, both political and official, before the process of updating the NRC started.
It may be mentioned here that the North East Students� Organization (NESO) has already demanded that NRC should be prepared in all the states of the region and Bhattacharya said that the modalities might vary depending on the situation in the respective states, but there is need for preparing NRC in all the states of the region to protect the identity of the indigenous people.