Chairing a high-level security review meeting here, he asked officials to guide people, whose names do not figure in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), through the procedure of claims and objections.
“If someone’s name does not appear in the complete draft, he or she is not to be considered a foreigner. The public should be clearly explained the process of claims and objections after the publication of the NRC,” Sonowal was quoted as saying by one of the officials present at the meeting.
The chief minister also directed the officials not to refer any case to the Foreigners Tribunal based on the NRC final draft, the official said.
The Home Ministry had yesterday asked the Assam government not to take any action against those whose names do not figure in the NRC.
“There is no question of referring the persons whose names do not figure in the draft NRC to the Foreigners’ Tribunal as people are entitled to file claims and objections and due opportunity has to be given to them before final publication,” an advisory of the ministry had said.
The NRC is being updated with 24 March 1971 as the cut-off date for a legitimate claim to Indian citizenship in Assam.
The final draft will be published on 30 July. The first draft of the NRC was published during the intervening nights of 31 December and 1 January, containing 1.9 crore names out of a total application of 3.29 crore people.