Confusion and anger gripped the Northeast Indian state of Assam on Tuesday, a day after the government released a partial list of registered citizens that included only 19 million of its 32 million people.
The Opposition has also praised the publication of the first draft. The much-awaited first draft of the NRC was published on 31st December 2017.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday said all those excluded in the first National Register of Citizens draft should not worry as no one will be discriminated against on the basis of caste and community and will be given opportunities to prove citizenship.
The NRC authorities had received applications submitted by 3.29 crore people, accompanied by six crore documents, of the state for inclusion of their names in the NRC, the process of updating which began in 2013 and was carried out under the Supreme Court's instruction.
On Monday, however, a man in Silchar, about 500 km (310.6 miles) from the state capital Guwahati, allegedly committed suicide because of the NRC publication. "It is against the Constitution and the spirit of the Supreme Court".
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Over 1.39 crore applicants did not find their names in the first draft even as people thronged the NRC Seva Kendras to check for their names. I fail to understand why the State government did not expedite the NRC update process.
"We are demanding to the state government and Assam police to take stern action against the BJP MLA", Kalita said. Although the Supreme Court in its order of 2014 had instructed the Government of India to enter into discussions with Bangladesh on streamlining the deportation of illegal Bangladeshis, nothing has happened on the ground as New Delhi is reluctant to raise this tricky issue lest it jeopardises relations with Dhaka. He directed the DGP to keep strict vigil along the border outposts to check entrance of illegal immigrants. The situation is further compounded by that fact that many illegal migrants who were declared foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunals have either absconded to other states to evade arrest or are dead.
"This is going to be a historic moment, not just for Assam, but for the entire country".
Dibrugarh probably has the highest number of names enlisted, with district administration sources saying close to 80% of the names have figured in the list, it is the lower Assam districts like Hojai (33%), Barpeta (38%) and Nagaon (44.16%), where most residents are yet to get the "legal citizen" tag. More than 855 indigenous agitators and hundreds of suspected illegal migrants from Bangladesh were killed during the Assam Agitation between 1979 and 1985.
The draft register that has been issued by the Assam Government will be available to the general public till January 31.