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Assam and West Bengal spar over citizenship list

Posted in S. Asia

Published on August 05, 2018 with No Comments

What is National Register of Citizens (NRC) of Assam-The National Register of Citizens, or NRC, is the list of Indian citizens in Assam. It is being updated to weed out illegal immigration from Bangladesh and neighborintg regions

Not just Muslims, even Hindu Bengalis left out.

After the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens in Assam was published, families and individuals whose names do not feature on the list expressed a sense of disbelief at not being included in it, even as they expressed hope that they will still be able to prove their status. Interestingly, the exclusions also have a fair share of Hindu Bengalis. Among them is the wife of Dilip Kumar Pal, the BJP legislator from Silchar and the former deputy speaker of the Assam Assembly.  Pal’s family, like thousands of other Hindus fled to Barak Valley from East Pakistan fearing persecution post partition. Pal said his wife Archana submitted all the documents that were needed for her inclusion in the NRC. “There are lakhs of people who are not there. More than 4 lakh in three Barak Valley districts alone,” he said. Around 20% of 51,000 applications in Pandu have not found a place in the NRC list, said CK Baisya, a senior official at the Pandu NRC Nagrik Seva Kendra. “All kinds of people, Muslims, Bengali Hindus, Biharis are there who have not found a place in the list,” he said.


The names of the family members of former president Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed’s nephew do not figure in the draft NRC. The fifth President’s nephew, 55-year-old Jiauddin Ahmed, his wife Akima Begum and sons Habib Ali Ahmed and Wajed Ali Ahmed are residents of Kalamoni Barhampur near Rangia in Kamrup district. As per reports, they could not apply for their names to be included in the NRC as they could not trace their family’s legacy data or any similar document despite checking with their relatives across Assam.

All eligible voters will find name in electoral rolls: CEC

Amid a political storm over the final draft of NRC in Assam, chief election commissioner OP Rawat said, “The EC with its objective of ‘no voter to be left behind’ has asked chief election officer Assam to coordinate closely with state coordinator NRC to ensure that all eligible persons are included in electoral roll during summary revision 2019.

With four million people in neighbouring Assam grappling with potential statelessness for not being able to prove their legacy, it has come to light that the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government maybe partially accountable for their plight.

“Before the computer generates the family tree, each applicant had to give the names of all siblings, descendants and ancestors. He or she was required to submit a manual family tree, which we would match with the digitized family tree verification process, in order to establish the veracity of the application,” Prateek Hajela, state coordinator for the NRC said.

At the same time FIRs have been filed against West Bengal Chief Minister   Mamata Banerjee in Assam for her alleged offensive comments in the aftermath of the publication of draft National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The Dibrugarh district unit of BJP Yuva Morcha filed an FIR against her with Naharkatiya police accusing her of trying to fan communal passion and destabilise Assam. In Lakhimpur, the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad filed another FIR against her for her alleged attempt to foment unrest.

After the publication of draft NRC on Monday, the West Bengal CM had warned of a “civil war”. She had alleged that NRC was an exercise against Bengalis and Biharis.


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