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NRC update in 3 years, says Gogoi

Guwahati, Aug. 30: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said updating of the 1951 National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be completed in three years.

In the first phase, the exercise will be conducted in 42 of the 126 constituencies in the state.

The updating of the NRC is expected to resolve the foreigner’s issue to a great extent.

Making the much-awaited announcement here this afternoon, Gogoi said, “Steps will be taken to start the NRC updating process within two to three months and we will complete it within three years. We will also open a special cell for this purpose.”

There has been widespread demand to update the NRC in wake of the BTAD riots after several organisations and political parties insisted that the violence would not have taken place had the NRC or the Assam Accord been implemented in toto.

CMO sources said the state cabinet had approved the Prithibi Majhi-headed cabinet sub-committee report on how to go about the task and that the modalities were sent to the Centre for approval.

The Majhi committee had submitted its report on March 28.

The All Assam Students’ Union said it was not yet convinced about the chief minister’s commitment. “In 2005, a tripartite meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the chief minister and AASU representatives decided to complete the process within 2007, which did not happen. The Tarun Gogoi government halted the pilot project on NRC update in Chaygaon and Barpeta constituency after an AAMSU-sponsored violence. The group of ministers formed by Dispur set July this year as the fresh deadline to start NRC update which too did not happen,” AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya told The Telegraph.

Bhattacharyya, however, said the NRC had to be updated and the AASU would respond to the chief minister’s announcement during the students’ union’s central executive committee’s two-day meeting in the city on September 1 and 2 .

The KMSS, however, welcomed the chief minister’s announcement and said it was a very timely move by the government. It had yesterday demanded a fixed timeframe for the updating of the NRC.

AAMSU leaders met the chief minister this afternoon. They will react to the announcement tomorrow.