All Indian nationals, whose names were excluded in the first draft of the National Register of Citizens, will get adequate opportunities to prove their credentials, a top Union Home Ministry official said today.The NRC is a list of the state’s citizens and as Assam anxiously awaits the publication of its part draft tonight, the official said people belonging to any creed, ethnicity or language were being treated equally and justice would be done to everyone with equal opportunities.”No one should have any notion that anyone or any particular community could be discriminated against. Everyone is treated equally and all Indian nationals will get adequate opportunities to prove their credentials in case their names are excluded in the first list,” the official said, requesting anonymity.Also readAASU demands error free NRC, says ‘no Bangladeshi coming to Assam after 1971 will be allowed to stay’After the publication of the first draft, second and third drafts will be published by the authorities before releasing the final list, said the official, who is in regular touch with the Assam government officials, who is monitoring the situation closely.”There is no need for panic. Genuine Indian citizens will not be deprived of their rights,” the official said.Army troops are on standby while a massive number of 45,000 security personnel were being deployed across Assam ahead of the publication of the first draft of the NRC.The Counter Insurgency (CI) grid, involving the Army, police, paramilitary and intelligence agencies, has been regularly reviewing the situation and directing all possible action to ensure peace.There have been intelligence inputs about possible tension in some parts of the state where names of doubtful citizens could be excluded in the draft list, another official said.Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba spent two days in the state last week, reviewing preparations for the publication of the part draft of the NRC and security arrangements, as ensuring peace in the state is a top priority for the Centre and the state government.Also readIndian citizenship: SC says claims of left out persons to be included in subsequent NRC for AssamAssam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday also sought to dispel apprehensions and said “genuine” Indians missing from the citizenship register would get enough opportunities to incorporate their names.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 the bona fide Indian citizens living the state.Assam, which faced influx from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, first prepared in 1951.The current exercise, started in 2005 under the then Congress regime, got a major push only after the BJP came to power in the state with illegal immigration from Bangladesh as a poll plank.The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the entire process, had ordered that the first draft of the NRC be published by December 31 after completing the scrutiny of over two crore claims along with that of around 38 lakh people whose documents were suspect.Of the 3.28 crore applications submitted, there was confusion over the inclusion of 29 lakh people who had submitted certificates issued by ‘gram panchayats’ as proof of identity, after a Gauhati High Court order in February had deemed ‘panchayat’ certificates invalid, the official said.Also readRelease draft NRC by Dec 31: SCThe Supreme Court set aside the high court order and upheld the validity of the certificates as identity proof if they were followed up with proper verification.The apex court also asked authorities to stick to the original deadline for the publication of the draft NRC and include names of those whose claims were verified.When the NRC was first prepared in Assam way back in 1951, the state had 80 lakh citizens then.The process of identification of illegal immigrants in Assam has been debated and become a contentious issue in the state’s politics.A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979.It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985 in the presence of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
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