Assam NRC revisited: Names of “ineligible” persons to be deleted

NRC officials can delete wrongful inclusions before the publication of the final list. However, the list - with details of 3.3 crore people - was published on August 31, 2019

Authorities in all 33 districts of Assam have been asked to issue orders for detention to these people. (File photo)

The names of thousands of “ineligible” persons will be deleted from the “final” NRC list of Assam, published in August last year.

Assam NRC authorities have ordered district officials to delete the names. Hitesh Dev Sarma, the state’s senior-most NRC official, issued a letter to deputy commissioners and district registrars of citizen registration (DRCR) in each of Assam’s 33 districts, asking them to issue orders for detention to these thousands of people, the NDTV reported.

“As per reports received from your end… some names of ineligible persons belonging to the categories of DF (declared foreigners) / DV (doubtful voters) / PFT (pending in foreigners tribunals), along with their descendants, have found entry in the NRC,” Sarma wrote.

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“The LRCR (local registrar of citizen registration) may at any time before the final publication of the NRC in the state may cause or direct to cause verification of names of such persons considered necessary,” Sarma said, quoting the relevant rules.

NRC officials can verify and delete wrongful inclusions (and exclusions) any time before the publication of the final NRC. However, the final list – with details of 3.3 crore people – was published on August 31, 2019 and made available online a few weeks later.

The NRC authorities, however, revisited the “final list” in February this year to check if any “ineligible” category people” had been included. The provocation, Sarma said, was that some deputy commissioners and DRCRs had reported to him earlier about some ineligible persons. Accordingly, Sarma asked them to submit list of such “ineligible” names and reasons for their deletion.

A draft version of the NRC that was released in July last year excluded over 40 lakh people. The final list that was released the next month brought that number down to 19 lakh.

Assam BJP leaders had lashed out after the final list was published, claiming many “genuine citizens” (especially refugees who migrated from Bangladesh before 1971) had been left out.

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