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Centre, State plan to speed up NRC update
SPL CORRESPONDENT
 NEW DELHI, Nov 13 - The Centre and the State government on Monday firmed up a joint strategy to expedite the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that is facing delay on account of the verification process.As reported, the possibility of the draft NRC being published on the Supreme Court-mandated deadline of December 31 appears to be remote, as the authorities are yet to come to a final decision regarding 1.23 crore applicants.

A status report submitted by NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela before the Supreme Court last week said that there were 3.21 crore applications, of which 2 crore have been verified. He also said there might be a delay of two-four months in publication of the NRC draft.

It has been learnt that the Register General of India (RGI) may now file an affidavit seeking the Supreme Court’s direction on a number of issues, including modification of the December 31 deadline.

Further, the Assam government also apprehends worsening of the law and order situation during the family tree verification process.

“Today we discussed important issues. The issue of NRC and Nagalim were discussed,” said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

In a sudden move, the Chief Minister, accompanied by some of his Cabinet colleagues including Himanta Biswa Sarma, Atul Bora, Ranjit Dutta and Parimal Suklabaidya, rushed to the national capital in a chartered aircraft to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh. The delegation also included Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia and other top officials.

“The Centre is clear about the two issues, and we have been saying that the updating work of the NRC is going on under the supervision of the Supreme Court. The work is going on and the Centre and the State government are jointly working towards preparing a flawless NRC. We are jointly trying to ensure that names of all genuine Indian citizens are in the NRC.

“We want to appeal to the people of Assam not to be apprehensive. Names of genuine Indian citizens would be included in the NRC,” he pleaded.

“We have noticed that a section of people are deliberately creating apprehensions in the minds of the people. I wish to tell them that they should not create confusion in the minds of the people because all people living in the State of Assam would be given adequate security. This is a commitment that we have made and we are determined to keep it,” Sonowal said.

The Chief Minister, however, skipped the issue of missing the Supreme Court deadline of December 31 for publication of the draft NRC.

On the issue of Nagalim, Sonowal said that not an inch of Assam’s land will go to Nagaland. Assam’s territorial integrity will remain intact and there will be no change on its geographical boundary, he asserted.

“Assam is the land of Lachit Borphukan, Beer Chilarai and Bagh Hazarika. We have, through generations, maintained secularism and togetherness. People of Assam are peace-loving. If somebody tries to disturb peace, then the people of the two valleys and the State government will take active steps to restore it.”

The Chief Minister was reacting to a statement by the president of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind Arshad Madani that Assam is going to become another Myanmar.

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