6-month extension to complete update of NRC
New Delhi: The Centre has given an extension of six months to complete the ongoing exercise for updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam by June 30.
In a notification, the Registrar General of India said the decision has been taken as the exercise to enumerate citizens in the NRC, a list of Assam's residents, could not be completed within the specified date of December 31, 2018.
"The central government has considered it necessary and expedient in the public interest to complete the said enumeration in connection with the updation of the National Register of Citizens, 1951, by the 30th day of June 2019," the notification, issued by Registrar General of India, Sailesh, said.
On December 6, 2013, the government had issued the first notification setting a deadline of three years for completion of the entire NRC process. However, since then, five extensions were given by the government in regular intervals as the exercise has not yet been completed.
The draft NRC was published on July 30 and included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applications. There has been a massive controversy over the exclusion of 40 lakh people from the draft NRC.
The current process of claims and objections to the draft NRC will come to an end on December 31, and after that, the final list is expected to be published.
For the claims and objections process, forms are available in 2,500 Seva Kendras in Assam, where people can file their appeal in their respective areas. People can submit corrections to their names that are in the draft and also raise objections against suspected foreigners.
The Supreme Court-monitored NRC exercise, aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh, was carried out only in Assam, which faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century.
According to the 2011 census, Assam's total population is over 3.11 crore. The process of identification of illegal immigrants in the state has been widely debated and become a contentious issue in state politics.
A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the All Assam Students Union in 1979. It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985, in presence of then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.