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No Indian citizen to be left out of NRC

By R Dutta Choudhury
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GUWAHATI, Oct 29 - If any person�s name is not published in the draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) it will not automatically mean that the person is a foreign national. Similarly, any person will have the right to raise objection against inclusion of anyone�s name in the draft NRC.

Highly-placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the NRC is updated as per the provisions of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizenship and Issue of National Identity Cards) Amendment Rules, 2009 and there is enough scope for anyone to raise claims and objections if any Indian citizen�s name is not included in the NRC. Some persons and organisations with vested interest have launched a misinformation campaign to unnecessarily create confusion in the minds of the people and the State NRC coordinator�s office is planning to launch a massive media campaign within the next few days to thwart such designs to remove fears and apprehensions in the minds of the people.

Sources pointed out that as per the rules, after the publication of the draft NRC, if any Indian citizen finds that his or her name is not published, he or she would have 30 days time to raise the issue with the local registrar. Around 2,500 officers drawn from different departments have been appointed as local registrars and if the person filing claims is not satisfied with the verdict of the local registrar, he or she can move the district registrar, who is the deputy commissioner of the district. Even if someone�s name is not published in the final NRC, he or she will have a chance to approach the Foreigners� Tribunal.

Sources said the process of verification of the documents is going on in full swing and more than 25,000 people have been engaged for the job. During the verification, if someone�s documents are not found to be in order, the person will be contacted so that he or she can submit proper documents. That process will start soon.

Sources also pointed out that with so many chances given to an individual to appeal in case his or her name is not included in the draft NRC, there is no reason for any Indian citizen to feel apprehensive.

But at the same time, any citizen can file objections to inclusion of anyone�s name in the NRC within 30 days from the publication of the draft NRC and in that case, the officials concerned would seek proof from the persons raising objections in support of his case. Sources pointed out that if the name of any foreigner or suspected foreigner is included in the NRC, any Indian citizen can raise objections.

Meanwhile, verification of documents is nearing completion and official sources said that the process is likely to be completed on time to ensure publication of the draft NRC by December 31, the deadline stipulated by the Supreme Court. Though some of the state governments have not been able to resend the documents sent to them for verification, sources said that it should not affect the publication of the draft NRC. �We have received around 6.5 crore documents and only a few lakh were sent to other states for verification. So the number is very small compared to the total volume of documents and it should not affect the process. However, the NRC coordinator�s office is in touch with the state governments concerned,� sources added.

On the publication of the final NRC, sources said that the time gap between the publication of the draft and the final NRC would depend on the number of claims and objections as all those would have to be verified thoroughly. As per the rule, after the publication of the final NRC, the government will issue National Identity Cards to the Indian citizens.

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No Indian citizen to be left out of NRC

GUWAHATI, Oct 29 - If any person�s name is not published in the draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) it will not automatically mean that the person is a foreign national. Similarly, any person will have the right to raise objection against inclusion of anyone�s name in the draft NRC.

Highly-placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the NRC is updated as per the provisions of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizenship and Issue of National Identity Cards) Amendment Rules, 2009 and there is enough scope for anyone to raise claims and objections if any Indian citizen�s name is not included in the NRC. Some persons and organisations with vested interest have launched a misinformation campaign to unnecessarily create confusion in the minds of the people and the State NRC coordinator�s office is planning to launch a massive media campaign within the next few days to thwart such designs to remove fears and apprehensions in the minds of the people.

Sources pointed out that as per the rules, after the publication of the draft NRC, if any Indian citizen finds that his or her name is not published, he or she would have 30 days time to raise the issue with the local registrar. Around 2,500 officers drawn from different departments have been appointed as local registrars and if the person filing claims is not satisfied with the verdict of the local registrar, he or she can move the district registrar, who is the deputy commissioner of the district. Even if someone�s name is not published in the final NRC, he or she will have a chance to approach the Foreigners� Tribunal.

Sources said the process of verification of the documents is going on in full swing and more than 25,000 people have been engaged for the job. During the verification, if someone�s documents are not found to be in order, the person will be contacted so that he or she can submit proper documents. That process will start soon.

Sources also pointed out that with so many chances given to an individual to appeal in case his or her name is not included in the draft NRC, there is no reason for any Indian citizen to feel apprehensive.

But at the same time, any citizen can file objections to inclusion of anyone�s name in the NRC within 30 days from the publication of the draft NRC and in that case, the officials concerned would seek proof from the persons raising objections in support of his case. Sources pointed out that if the name of any foreigner or suspected foreigner is included in the NRC, any Indian citizen can raise objections.

Meanwhile, verification of documents is nearing completion and official sources said that the process is likely to be completed on time to ensure publication of the draft NRC by December 31, the deadline stipulated by the Supreme Court. Though some of the state governments have not been able to resend the documents sent to them for verification, sources said that it should not affect the publication of the draft NRC. �We have received around 6.5 crore documents and only a few lakh were sent to other states for verification. So the number is very small compared to the total volume of documents and it should not affect the process. However, the NRC coordinator�s office is in touch with the state governments concerned,� sources added.

On the publication of the final NRC, sources said that the time gap between the publication of the draft and the final NRC would depend on the number of claims and objections as all those would have to be verified thoroughly. As per the rule, after the publication of the final NRC, the government will issue National Identity Cards to the Indian citizens.

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