1.9 cr names in Assam's 1st draft NRC

The issue of illegal immigration from neighbouring Bangladesh is one of the most controversial subjects in Assam's socio-political life since several decades.

The register aims to separate genuine Indian citizens from illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. However, three MPs from Assam's main opposition party AIUDF, including Dubri's Badruddin Ajmal and Karimganj's Radhey Shyam could not make it to the first draft of the NRC, a News 18 report stated. Thankfully, all went well.

The Assam Police on Thursday filed a case against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after she claimed on Wednesday that the updating of the National Register of Citizens in Assam was a conspiracy to drive Bengalis away from the state. BJP MLA from Hojai Shiladitya Dev, who recently created a major controversy by saying that most Muslims in the state are from Bangladesh, could not find place in the first NRC.

Meanwhile, the Indian government on Tuesday told the lower house of parliament that almost 20,000 people were declared foreigners by the Foreigners Tribunals (FTs) in Assam and kept in detention centres, adds our New Delhi correspondent. Following the assurance, in June 2010 a pilot project was initiated in two revenue circles - Barpeta and Chayagaon.

With the office of RGI releasing its first draft of National Register for Citizens (NRC), millions of people in Assam woke up to a new year with a sense agitation. In the absence of any expressed demand for updating the NRC of 1951 (a charge denied by AASU leaders), the Government of India took no initiative in this regard. "It's another blatant lie by the BJP", said Assam Congress spokesperson Apurba Bhattacharyya. Yet, no efforts were made either by the State government or the Union government in subsequent years to update the NRC.

Assam's Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, "This is going to be a historic moment, not just for Assam, but for the entire country".

While there was a strong apprehension of probable tension and violence, once the list was out, the state has remained calm 48 hours since the publication of draft NRC on December 31.

Sailesh said the complete NRC will be published within 2018, adding that Sunday's publication is only the part draft and that there is no need to worry if anyone's name has not been included in it.

"There is no need for anyone to panic. The other names are in various stages of verification and as soon as the verification is done, we will come out with another draft".

The name of Congress MLA Nurul Huda was also missing from the first list, but he said that names of 70 per cent residents of his constituency were under verification.

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