The controversy over the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has now reached the floor of the Assam Legislative Assembly as well.
Legislator Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha, representing Karimganj North constituency, on Thursday came up with an explosive allegation that names of 95 pc of Bengali-speaking people in the Barak Valley have not found place in the first draft of NRC published at December 31 midnight.
Purkayastha, who is from the Bengali community, alleged on the floor of the ongoing Budget Session of the Assembly Legislative Assembly that the linguistic and religious minority people have been excluded from the first draft intentionally.
“Names of 95 pc people in the three districts of the Barak Valley – Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi – have either been excluded or uploaded wrongly. Also, in thirteen districts, names of religious and linguistic minority people have been omitted intentionally,” he said.
Later, speaking exclusively to Northeast Now, Purkayastha said that NRC State Co-ordinator Prateek Hajela had initially said that names of 2.3 crore people would appear in the first draft but ultimately only 1.9 crore names appeared.
“Where are the remaining 38 lakh names?” questioned Purkayastha, adding, “An environment has been created in the State where it feels like every Bengali-speaking person came to Assam after 1971. But this is not true.”
He added, “Most of the Bengali-speaking people have been living here since before partition. At that time, Karimganj, Cachar and Hailakandi were part of the Sylhet district which was included in East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) after partition. We are residents of Assam by choice. We didn’t go to Pakistan after partition.”
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary requested the legislators not to politicise the NRC issue as it is being monitored by the Supreme Court.
Patowary said, “No genuine Indian citizen will be excluded from the NRC. However, people who would be identified as foreigners won’t find their names in NRC. But Indian citizens don’t have reason to panic.”
“Document verification of 1.39 crore people is going on in a swift manner. People will get sufficient opportunity to get their names published in the final draft of the NRC,” added Patowary.