The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) wants that the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the claims and objections phase of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update exercise should include suo motu scrutiny of the final draft by the Deputy Commissioners and then by the NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela to ensure a foreigner-free register.
A report published in the The Telegraph stated that without commenting on the SOP placed by the Centre in the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the AASU General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said they would like to see in the SOP, to be finalised by the apex court on Thursday, a two-phase suo motu scrutiny of the final draft and allowing the filing of objections at circle office/district level instead of local NRC Seva Kendras (NSKs).
The report further quoted Gogoi as saying, “We suggest suo motu verification, first by the Deputy Commissioners and then by the State Coordinator, especially in districts with very low percentage of non-inclusion of names,” Gogoi said.
AASU is pushing for suo motu scrutiny because of ground reports about very low percentage of non-inclusion in districts such as Dhubri (8.26), Karimganj (7.67), Hailakandi (6.62), South Salmara(7.22), Kamrup (5.32), Lakhimpur (9.64), Kokrajhar (6.62) and Chirang (7.91).
“The figures suggest the final draft is not error-free, more so after the admission of the Morigaon Deputy Commissioner about ineligible names being included by mistake. There are also reports of how a declared foreigner was scrutinising papers in Morigaon,” Gogoi said.
The final draft list released on July 30 saw the non-inclusion of 40.07 of the 3.29 crore applicants. NRC is being updated to weed out foreigners staying illegally in Assam. Pushing for change in the guidelines for submitting objections at the local NSKs in the SOP, Gogoi said, “We want it relaxed because it would be impossible to file objections at some local NSK by an outsider. Instead, we want it changed to respective circle offices or district headquarters to avoid any untoward situation.”