Guwahati: Minutes after the much-anticipated National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in Assam on Saturday, president of the Assam Public Works (APW), petitioner of the case in the Supreme Court, Abhijit Sarma, said that it was a victory of the “saviours of illegal intruders” in the state.
Dissatisfied with the number of exclusion showing up in the final list of the NRC, the APW president said that the “saviours of illegal intruders” were making constant efforts on their part to disrupt the process through corrupt means.
“This is a half-done exercise after a decade’s worth of struggle. It is now just another tool to destroy original inhabitants of Assam,” said Sarma.
Highlighting to the petition filed by APW seeking 10% re-verification of names included in the draft NRC in some 23 districts of the state, including Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Chirang, South Salmara-Mankachar, Goalpara, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamrup(Metro), Kamrup (Rural), Darrang, Udalguri, Sonitpur, Lakhimpur, Dhemaji, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hojai, Golaghat, Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi, but it never came to happen in reality.
“APW will move the Supreme Court for re-verification,” Sarma added.
Bringing to light another big anomaly that took place during the NRC update process in Assam, Sarma said that as per an affidavit submitted by the state coordinator on October 4, 2019, it was stated that the software used for data entry could not detect the misuse of legacy data of the same person for three different years — 1951, 1966 and 1971, respectively due to which a huge number of persons got their names included in the complete draft NRC illegally by taking advantage of the shortcomings of the very software used in NRC update process.
“Hence, it was necessary to enquire into the functioning of the software used for NRC by the third party software experts but it was not done and the final NRC got released,” the APW president expressed.
Meanwhile, talking on the reports submitted by the NRC state coordinator regarding re-verification done in the bordering districts of Cachar, Dhubri, Karimganj and South Salmara-Mankachar of the state, the APW president pointed out that the accidental re-verification that was happening for around 80 lakh people, whose names already appeared in the draft NRC, is only 27% of the total number included in the draft.
Citing out some cases highlighting that re-verification process done in those districts was incomplete and not sufficient for the final publication, the APW president informed that in Cachar district re-verification was done only for 29% of the total 5,464 people excluded, in Dhubri 39 % of the total 4,096 people were re-verified, in Karimganj 29% of the total 3,980 people was done and South Salmara too only 41% of the 1,646 excluded peoples were re-verified.
The APW president further informed that as a primary petitioner, they have submitted five memoranda in total at the Supreme Court requesting for re-verification of the draft NRC but all of them were rejected.
“The 27% re-verification done by the state coordinator (Prateek Hajela) is a mystery and no one knows whether or not it was 100% flawless,” added the APW president.
The APW leader further reiterated that in 2009 it had filed a petition in the Supreme Court praying that names of 41 lakh foreigners be deleted from the electoral rolls of Assam and the NRC should be updated but in response to it, the Centre told the apex court that the 1951 NRC was updated.
The Assam Public Works was the original petitioner in the Supreme Court six years ago which led to the update of the NRC with its final list out on Saturday. However, the civil organisation called the recent published list as a flawed document jumbled up with many anomalies and corrupt activities.
The civil body has urged all associations and unions of the state to move the court with proper evidence and proof rather than blocking roads and holding protests.