The debate on the finalisation of the National register of Citizens or the NRC in the state of Assam has been going on for a long time but a new confusion and error has added to the growing uncertainty and despair associated with the register.
The NRC, which had been published in the month of August 2019 under direct supervision of the Supreme Court of India had ended up excluding over 19 lakh persons — including 5.56 lakh Hindus and more than 11 lakh Muslims — from around 3.3 crore applicants who had aspired to be on the list.
While a debate has been going on about what the final NRC in Assam will look like, the state NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma has gone ahead and said in the Guwahati High Court that 4,795 people who are “ineligible” have also made it to the final NRC list, but what addd to the confusion was that while these people were ineligible to be on the list, the list containing their names was declared as final.
The affidavit is reported to be containing the details of illegal immigrants who were erroneously made part of the NRC list and has now been submitted to the Gauhati High Court by the authorities of the National Register of Citizenship (NRC).The names of these individuals were entered into the final list of the NRC by mistake and the list was published on August 31 last year.
This list had been published on August 31, 2019 and the the final NRC list had ended up leaving behind more than 19.22 lakh people from the 3.3 crore people who had given their documents and applied to be on the final list. It is also worth noting that the 19.22 lakh people who were left out of the final NRC list in Assam composed nothing less than 6% of its population.
Hitesh Dev Sarma had filed a long affidavit on December 3 which said that some district registrars of citizens registration(DRCRs) had gone ahead and made a formal request for changing the results of the final NRC with reasons that looked “proper” after the list had been published.
In total there were 10,199 formal requests that had been made to change the NRC names and out of the 10,199 people, more than 5,404 people were from changing the result from Reject to Accept and 4,795 were changed from Accept to Reject. Moreover, 1032 are the names of ineligible persons who have either been declared foreigners or doubtful voters or as people having cases pending with the Foreigner’s Tribunal and 3,763 people have been found as ineligible for other reasons.
In October, 2020 all the DRCRs had been requested to send in the lists of ineligible persons and several discrepancies and mistakes were found in them and were reported by the Registrar General of India(RGI) and corrective measures were sought.
But instead of directing the authorities to correct the mistakes, the authorities have asked the NRC officials to issue rejection slips and complete the NRC updating process. He also said in his affidavit that since the authority alone can take a call on the final NRC and make the due corrections, the final NRC hasn’t been published till date.
The office of the state coordinator had published what it called the final NRC for the state in August but the Registrar General of India or the RGI is yet to put the “final” tag to ensure that it is really the final NRC in the state of Assam.