Guwahati (Assam) ,July 26 : Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today sought to allay fears among people about their names missing from the Assam citizen ministry saying no one will be treated as a foreigner if their name does not appear in the final draft.
Chairing a high-level security review meeting in Guwahati he asked officials to guide people, whose names do not figure in the final draft of National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published on July 30, through the procedure of claims and objections.
“If someone’s name does not appear in the complete draft, he or she is not to be considered a foreigner. Public should be clearly explained the process of claims and objections after publication of the NRC,” Mr Sonowal was quoted as saying by one of the officials present at the meeting.
The chief minister also directed the officials not to refer any case to the Foreigners Tribunal based on the NRC final draft, the official said.
The Home Ministry had yesterday asked the Assam government not to take any action against those whose names do not figure in the NRC.
“There is no question of referring the persons whose names do not figure in the draft NRC to the Foreigners’ Tribunal as people are entitled to file claims and objections and due opportunity has to be given to them before final publication,” an advisory of the ministry had said.
In Delhi, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that people will get adequate time to register claims and objections and if those not satisfied can also approach the foreign tribunal.
The NRC is being updated with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for legitimate claim to Indian citizenship in Assam.
The final draft will be published on July 30. The first draft of the NRC was published during the intervening nights of December 31 and January 1, containing 1.9 crore names out of a total applications of 3.29 crore people.
The exercise is aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the north-eastern state bordering Bangladesh. Assam is the only state in the country having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.
The chief secretary, the director general of police, the NRC state coordinator, deputy commissioners and SPs of all districts were present at the meeting and Sonowal asked everyone to remain alert.
Earlier in the day, Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia also held a meeting with senior officials.
Sources said the meeting discussed the situations that may arise after publication of the final draft of the NRC.
NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela has also said that people whose names do not feature in the complete draft NRC need not worry.
“Applicants who do not find their names in the complete draft NRC need not worry. All genuine Indian citizens as per cut-off date of 24th March 1971 (midnight) will be included in the Final NRC,” he said in advertisements in the print and electronic media.
Mr Hajela’s office has set up a control room in which people can call up for information and to complaint over the complete draft of the NRC which is scheduled for publication on July 30.
Besides, people can check their names for verification in websites, helplines, and via SMS, the advertisements said.
They can also go through print version of the complete draft in their designated NRC Seva Kendras.(PTI)