Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Monday said that he believes that the publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be peaceful. He further added that the Home Minister is all help and support to the state government.
Sarbananda Sonowal earlier indicated that the government may explore legislative options to deal with the wrongful inclusion of some names in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) after its final publication.
Sonowal said the Assam government will ensure peaceful publication of the NRC on August 31 as mandated by the Supreme Court. "In a democracy, everyone has the right to ask questions. After the publication of NRC, if necessary in future, we will take whatever steps will be required," he told reporters after a meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Sonowal was replying to a question on whether the government will explore some legislative options to deal with those whose names may be wrongfully included in the final NRC.
Last month, the Supreme Court had rejected the central and Assam governments’ plea for sample re-verification to find out wrongful inclusions of names.
Sonowal said there were apprehensions about the law and order situation in Assam when the part draft and the final draft of the NRC was published in 2018.
“But with the cooperation of the people of Assam, everything went off peacefully. This time also, with the active support of the central government and as per the expectations of the people, the NRC will be published on August 31,” he said.
In July last year, over 40 lakh people were excluded from the complete draft of the NRC, which contained 2,89,83,677 eligible people out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants.
An additional 1,02,462 people were included last month in the list of excluded persons, taking the total ineligible persons to 41,10,169 in the complete draft of the document, a list of the Assam’s residents. Assam, which had faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC that was first prepared in 1951.
A bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice R F Nariman had also said like Aadhaar data, an appropriate regime should be enacted for securing the NRC data. It had earlier said the final Assam NRC would be published on or before August 31.