GUWAHATI, Oct 29 - Considering the problem of illegal migration faced by Assam, State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela has stressed the need for a comprehensive probe into submission of forged documents by those who applied to get their names included in the NRC and issuing bogus documents by various public authorities.
In a report to the Supreme Court, the NRC Coordinator pointed out that the forgeries detected could be tip of the iceberg and said that though the State Government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) to ensure proper investigation of the forgeries detected during the process of verification of the documents submitted by the applicants, not much progress was made in the probe. The report said that around 484 cases of forgery across the State were taken up but not much progress into the investigations has been made either by the SIT or the district police forces.
The report admitted that a large number of forgeries were detected during the process of verification of documents and more than 1.78 lakh forged birth certificates among other forged documents were detected. There was substantial number of instances of forgery, creation of fake documents, inclusion of illegal migrants in the electoral rolls, which proved beyond doubt that creation of documents of various types is easy in the State. Any exercise to create an error free NRC will have to devise a strong mechanism to handle such mischief.
The report pointed out that the border police system is in force only in Assam with the objective of nabbing illegal migrants. But the system has not yielded the desired result. During the NRC updating process, 11,009 declared foreigners, more than 86,000 D voters and substantial number of persons having cases pending against them in the Foreigners� Tribunals have been detected. But there are only around a thousand persons lodged in the detention centres, which proved that the provisions of the law to deal with illegal migrants could not be enforced strictly, the report said.
The report went on to say that documents like relief eligibility certificates, birth certificate, etc., can be created not only for illegal migrants but even for those who are still in Bangladesh and are preparing to enter India. �The oft repeated plea of poverty, illiteracy, etc., may not be considered ground for reducing the strictness of criteria for inclusion of names in the NRC. It is also observed that organized support is available for the so called illiterate and poor illegal migrants,� the report added.
The report further said that the present system prevailing in the State is an extremely immigrant friendly one and adequate checks were never put in place by the concerned authorities to ensure that various public agencies take adequate care before issuing certificates. The NRC Coordinator has also stressed the need for a paradigm shift from �no genuine Indian citizen should be left out� to �no ineligible person should be included� while preparing the NRC.