At least 200 of 39 families in central Assam’s Morigaon district, one of the 11 Muslim-majority districts, who have either been declared as foreigners by Foreigners’ Tribunals or their cases as suspected foreigners are pending, have been found to have made their way into the final draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) which was published on July 30 last in Assam.
A report appearing in the The Times of India stated that NRC updating authorities realised just after the final draft NRC was published that these persons “intentionally concealed their antecedents when they submitted their application forms for inclusion in the NRC”.
The report further quoted the Morigaon district Deputy Commissioner Hemen Das as saying, “The screening process is a continuous one and just a day before the final draft NRC was published we discovered that there are some inclusions, some of who have been declared as foreigners, some have been marked as doubtful citizens in electoral rolls and some have their cases pending with Foreigners’ Tribunals. There was no time to change then, because the final draft NRC was all set to get published. We have done it now.”
He added, “There are 39 families from different locations of Morigaon district and there are about 200 people.” The DC informed that the central NRC office in Guwahati has been apprised about the matter – “There are multiple levels of working for the NRC preparation. Only the NRC central office has the system to find out at which level the error took place.”
Rules also have it that a person who has been declared as a foreigner by the tribunal or his or her case is pending with the tribunal or he or she has been marked as ‘D’ voter in the electoral rolls by the Election Commission (EC) have to declare his or her status while filing application. It has been found that these 200 people did not mention their status. Of the over 40 lakh people left out of the complete draft, 2.48 lakh names have been “put on hold”, which include D voters and their descendants and people who have pending cases in the Foreigners’ Tribunal and their descendants.
The district head said that the said matter has been made public to drive home the fact that the NRC updating process is completely transparent and the system is watertight and every wrong inclusion or exclusion would be resolved before the final NRC is prepared.