The much-awaited first draft of the National Register of Citizens has been published by the Assam government. The NRC includes the names of 1.9 crore people of the total 3.29 crore applicants in Assam recognising them as legal citizens of India.
At a mid-night presser, the Registrar General of India, Sailesh said that the rest of the names are under verification at various stages. It is a partial draft which comprises 1.9 crore persons who have been verified till now. The rest are under verification and once that is done, we will come out with another draft he also said.
The NRC State Coordinator, Prateek Hajela said that those who do not find their names in the first draft need not worry. It is a tedious process to verify the names. There is a possibility that some names within a single family may not be there in the first draft, he also said.
While speaking about the time-frame, the RGI said that the next draft would be decided as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court, under whose monitoring the document is being prepared. He said that the entire process would, however, be completed by 2018.
The application process started in May 2015 and a total of 6.5 crore documents were received from 68.27 lakh families across Assam.
The process of accepting complaints will start once the final draft is published as rest of the names are likely to appear in that, Hajela said.
People can check their names in the first draft at NRC sewa kendras across Assam from 8 am on January 1. They can also check for information online and through SMS services.
The exercise to update the NRC is being carried out in Assam following a decision in 2005 after a series of meetings between the central and state governments and the influential All Assam Students' Union (AASU) in an attempt to document citizens living in the state legally.
Assam, which has faced an influx from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, first prepared in 1951.