‘Hindus have been disproportionately targeted’: Why the Assam government is not happy with the NRC
By Scroll 25-Aug-2019
When the draft was published last year, the Supreme Court had ordered the state coordinator for the NRC, Prateek Hajela, to submit such data to it in a sealed envelope. It had to be kept confidential, the court said, because of its “sensitive nature”
The state government, however, released the data in the assembly to make a case for another round of scrutiny of those already included in the draft NRC. The Bharatiya Janata Party -led government’s stated concern: “illegal immigrants” had made it to the list while “indigenous” residents of Assam had been left out.
Low rejection rates in border districts
While putting out the district-wise exclusion numbers in the assembly, Assam’s parliamentary affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary drew attention to the rejection rates of Dhubri, South Salmara and Karimganj: 7.22%, 8.26 % and 7.57 % respectively. The fact that the exclusion percentages in these Bangladesh-bordering districts was less than the state average of 12.15 %, the minister contended, was proof that the NRC was flawed and needed another round of verification.
Assam started updating its NRC in 2015 in a bid to sift “illegal” migrants from genuine citizens – defined as anyone who can prove that they or they ancestors lived in India before the midnight of March 24, 1971. A consolidated draft list was released in July 2018. People who did not make it could file fresh claims to be included in the final NRC; similarly the inclusion of people could be objected to. The final version of the NRC, slated to be released on August 31, will include the results of these claims and objections.
On July 23, the top court, which is monitoring the exercise, rejected the state and Central governments’ plea for another round of verification of people included in the draft list. The court cited a sealed report Hajela, which apparently said 27% of the names in the July 2018 draft – about 80 lakh people
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