GUWAHATI, Aug 31 - Technocrat-turned-academician Pradip Bhuyan, who was the man behind the Supreme Court case on NRC update exercise, on Saturday said that given the magnitude of the operation, it will be naive to believe that we have got a 100 per cent correct NRC in spite of the best efforts of the authorities.
Referring to a July 26, 2018 report of The Times of India, he said that the Assam Police believes that 10 lakh Bangladeshis did not apply (based on census population as on 2011, and as projected up to 2015). According to the police, the State population in 2015 is around 3.39 crore whereas 3.29 crore people have applied for inclusion in the NRC, leaving a gap of 10 lakh, who did not apply because of fear of being identified.
Moreover, he said the census figures of population of Assam from 1981 to 2011 seem to be �depressed� from the actual population growth of the State for this period. Between 1981 and 2011, the population growth rate of Assam as per the census report is less than all India population growth. Growth of population in Assam in this period is 20.07 per cent, whereas all India growth is 21.03 per cent.
�This cannot be accepted, because during this period Assam saw a massive influx of migrants from Bangladesh. Also, Assam�s electoral growth during this period is 35 per cent or so. There is no co-relation of the rate of growth of the population and the voter�s growth rate which also indicates that the population figures of Assam as per census for this period is depressed,� he said.
�Even if we assume the decadal growth rate of Assam conservatively at 25 per cent, Assam�s population in 2011 would have been around 352 lakh and if projected up to 2015, it would have been around 387 lakh or so... But, the population of Assam, as projected from the census report of 2011 would be around 332 lakhs, which indicates 55 lakh (387 lakh � 332 lakh) of excess population in the State, but not recorded in the census population records. This is an indicative exercise but cannot be wished away,� Bhuyan said.
�Based on the above facts and The Times of India news report that Central agencies on the other hand think that one crore people have not applied to NRC, we can safely say that lakhs and lakhs of post-1971 Bangladeshi migrants have not applied for inclusion in the NRC process,� he said, adding, the government must now take immediate steps to track down these ghost citizens. �Foreigners tribunals will finally decide the citizenship status of these people,� he said.
The government also must ensure a simple lifeline for all indigenous people left out of the NRC for any reason, he said. He also said that the Election Commission of India must straightway declare all persons, whose names are not in the NRC, as prima facie foreigners and put them in the �doubtful� status in the electoral roll. �They must be debarred from voting until they are declared as Indians by a foreigners tribunal,� he added.
Meanwhile, Aabhijeet Sarma of the Assam Public Works (APW), who filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court on the issue of updating the NRC, said the APW is not satisfied with the final NRC published on Saturday.
He also maintained that a concrete solution to the illegal foreigners issue in Assam is impossible. �We are officially announcing it today by looking at the experiences we�ve gathered in the last ten years of active involvement in this issue,� he said, adding that the dream of the people of the State to live in a foreigner-free Assam will remain unfulfilled.
He said there is a lot to doubt the genuineness of the claim made by State Coordinator Prateek Hajela that he had made 27 per cent re-verification while preparing the final NRC and lamented that the APW plea for re-verification of the draft NRC was turned down by the Supreme Court.
�It is still a mystery of the whereabouts of the 27 per cent re-verification done by him (Hajela) on his own without anyone�s knowledge. No one knows whether it was 100 per cent flawless or was there any discrepancy,� Sarma said.
Moreover, Sarma also questioned the efficacy of the computer software used in preparing the final NRC.