Thousands of persons on Friday visited the 2,500 NRC Seva Kendras across Assam to ascertain the reason for non-inclusion of their names in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Chaos prevailed at most of these Seva Kendras with people queuing up and a few staff being present to handle the huge rush. People complained that they were not able to collect the forms for filing claims and objections despite waiting for hours in the queue.
The draft NRC list, published in Assam on July 30, had excluded over 40 lakh persons.
NRC authorities had earlier said that the Seva Kendras will open on August 7 to enable persons whose names did not appear in the draft NRC to know the reason for rejection of their applications and to file claims and objections.
The filing of claims and objections, the forms for which are available at the Seva Kendras, will start on August 30 and continue till September 28.
Each of these Seva Kendras are supposed to cater to 10 villages each across the state.
While the draft NRC included the names of 2,89,836,77 persons, the names of 40,07,707 persons were missing due to some ‘discrepancies’. A total of 32,991,384 persons had applied for inclusion of their names.
“The names of four of my family members are not in the list while those of three have been included. I came to know the reason for this situation. However, the Seva Kendra officials failed to come out with clear answers. They only told me that my documents are alright and the final draft will include their names,” said Abdul Razzak of Jalukbari area in the city.
The Supreme Court, monitoring the updation of the NRC, has ordered the state government, in consultation with State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela, to frame a ‘fair’ standard operating procedure to deal with claims and objections on the draft NRC.
The NRC authorities in Guwahati refused to comment, citing apex court orders against making any comments in the media on NRC updation and on the modalities to include the names of genuine Indian citizens in the final NRC.
The Assam Police has reviewed security at the Seva Kendras, considering the rush from Friday onwards, and arranged for setting up of pickets wherever required.
The Central government had rushed 220 companies of security forces to the state ahead of the July 30 publication of the NRC. Although nothing untoward happened in Assam, the forces are likely to stay for a few days more.