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India NRC list not final yet: SC gives Assam govt...

NRC list not final yet: SC gives Assam govt a month more

The final NRC will count only those as Indian citizens who can prove their residency in Assam on or before 21 March, 1971

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday extended by a month its 30 June deadline for the publication of the final draft of Assam’s National Register of Citizens. The bench gave the extension after the Centre and the state NRC coordinator agreed to publish it within the new 30 July deadline.

A bench of justices Ranjan Gogoi and RF Nariman considered the report of Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela and extended the deadline. Last week, Hajela had said it would not be possible to release the final draft of the NRC on 30 June because of the floods in Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts in the Barak Valley as well as in parts of Karbi Anglong and Hojai.

The court on Monday asked the state chief secretary and director general of police of Assam to immediately provide adequate security to Hajela and his family, including his children, in view of his work, and file a compliance report. The top court said it will consider all interlocutory applications and other related matters at the next hearing on 31 July.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had said that the claims of the citizens whose names do not feature in the draft Assam NRC — published on the intervening night of 31 December and 1 January — will be scrutinised and included in the subsequent list if found genuine.

The first draft named 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants who had applied. The verification of the second draft was completed by 31 May. Of the 3.29 crore applications, there was confusion over the inclusion of 29 lakh people who submitted certificates issued by gram panchayats as proof of identity, after an order of the High Court of Guwahati in February deemed panchayat certificates invalid, an official said.

The final NRC will count only those as Indian citizens who can prove their residency in Assam on or before 21 March 1971. This means that all those not included in the listed risk being tagged, illegal immigrants. Assam, which faced an influx of immigrants from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state that has an NRC that was first prepared in 1951. At that time, the state had 80 lakh citizens.

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