Assam NRC state coordinator files plea for re-verification of draft NRC in SC; says without re-verification NRC will lose its acceptability

THE state coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) Assam has approached the Supreme Court seeking a re-verification of the draft NRC and the supplementary list to NRC.

NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma has also asked the court to allow the re-verification under the supervision of a monitoring committee in each district, preferably represented by the district judge, District Magistrate, and Superintendents of Police.

The complete draft NRC was published on 30.07.2018 and the supplementary list of inclusion and exclusion was published on 31.08.2019.

The state coordinator has contended that of the 40,07,719 persons excluded from the draft NRC, about 3,93,975 persons had not filed any claims and therefore their names appeared in the exclusion list. However, after some sample checks, it was found that 50,695 persons were eligible for inclusion in the NRC. Out of this, 7,770 persons are from the ‘Originally Inhabitants’ category and 42,925 persons are from the ‘Persons from other States.

This figure, the plea says, may increase if a detailed verification is done.

For a flawless and complete NRC, the names of these persons have to be included in the final NRC, failing which the Final NRC will lose its acceptability, the plea has urged.

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The application added that some undeserving people may have been included in the NRC list by wrongly claiming to be Original Inhabitants of Assam.

The plea refers to a report by the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup district of applicants who were wrongly marked as Originally Inhabitants (OI). In his report, he said a total no of 1,43,522 members applied for NRC under the Chamaria circle, of which 64,247 members had been marked OI and their names had already been entered in the draft NRC. However, on a random verification, it was found 14,183 were found not fall in the OI category.

The plea states that in August 2019, a special verification was carried out against 30,791 persons out of 64,247 persons reported by the deputy commissioner Kamrup under the Chamaria circle. During re-verification, 7446 numbers out of 30,791 persons were found ineligible for inclusion in the supplementary list of NRC.

“The disturbing fact is that out of these 7446 people found ineligible, as many as eight were declared foreigners, 2 were descendants of declared foreigners, 19 were doubtful voters, 43 were descendants of doubtful voters, 13 cases were pending in the Foreigners Tribunal and 10 were of descendants of persons whose matters are pending in Foreigners Tribunals”, the plea states.

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It is alleged that of the 23,345 persons found eligible for NRC, only 107 persons were found so on Original Inhabitant(OI) grounds. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that 30,684 persons were wrongly entered into the draft NRC under OI.

The remaining 33,794 out of 64,247 marked as “Originally Inhabitants of Assam” were not called for re-verification and it is likely that a majority of this lot were wrongly entered into the draft NRC through “Originally Inhabitant of Assam” identification, the plea asserts.

Once a person is marked as an Original Inhabitant, no further verification is needed.

In Lahorighat and Dhing circle, a sample check found that of the 10 names marked as OI in the Dhing circle, nine names were not from the OI community. Similarly out of the names marked as OI in Lahorighat Circle, two were found not to be from OI, the plea stated.