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NRC implementation in phased manner: BJP

Party will implement NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country and strengthen border security in northeast

By Our Correspondent in Shillong
  • Published 9.04.19, 12:10 AM
  • Updated 9.04.19, 12:10 AM
  • 2 mins read
Residents lining up for checking the final draft of NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Tengabasti, Tezpur. (Telegraph file picture)

The BJP has promised to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in a phased manner in other parts of the country.

“There has been a huge change in the cultural and linguistic identity of some areas due to illegal immigration, resulting in an adverse impact on local people’s livelihood and employment. We will expeditiously complete the National Register of Citizens process in these areas on priority,” the BJP stated in its Sankalp Patra or party manifesto, which was released on Monday in New Delhi.

It also stated that the party would implement NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country.

At the same time, it said it would continue to undertake “effective steps” to prevent illegal migration in the northeastern states.

“For this, we will further strengthen our border security. A pilot project on the use of technology to strengthen border security (smart fencing) was implemented in Dhubri (Assam). We will implement this on all borders,” the party added.

The NRC is being implemented in Assam, and the final draft of the NRC, published last year, saw the names of 40.07 lakh people of the total 3,29,91,384 applicants missing in the list.

The publication of the list triggered concern in other parts of the region where governments, even in Meghalaya, urged people to remain vigil so that there would be no “illegal intruders” entering.

Several pressure groups had also been demanding implementation of the NRC to identity “illegal” migrants.

The BJP also claimed that India’s Northeast, which earlier made headlines for “blockades and neglect”, is now witnessing “unprecedented development”.

“The Northeast is now closer to the national mainstream in more ways than one,” the BJP noted in its manifesto.

The party also stated that it was committed to ensuring that the unique linguistic, cultural and social identity of the northeastern states are adequately protected, and steps are taken to ensure the same.

Biometric enrolment: Assam has begun biometric enrolment of over 3.87 lakh NRC “dropouts” in order to prevent “illegal migrants from fleeing” on completion of the multi-crore exercise.

Vishnudev Rajak and his wife Radha, who were at an NRC verification centre in Tinsukia district on Monday, said: “Our names were not in the draft NRC. So we submitted our documents again and are here for verification today. Biometrics are being collected by the officials.”

Another family, whose names were missing from the draft NRC, Firdaush Ahmed and Sabnam Khatun, echoed Rajak.

Official sources said the biometric details of 36.2 lakh applicants are being collected in collaboration with UIDAI.

“Many of these dropouts could turn out to be illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Once the NRC exercise is over, they may flee to some other place in the country fearing legal action. So it was decided that Aadhaar enrolment for these claimants be done so that their biometric details can be stored by the law enforcement agencies to track them as and when required,” said an NRC official. Aadhaar enrolment in Assam has been postponed in view of the NRC exercise and the Lok Sabha elections this month.

A 70-year-old man, Amrit Das, died on Sunday in Goalpara detention camp, Justifying the Supreme Court’s concern on the plight of foreigners in detention camps. Das was a resident of Barpeta district and lodged in the detention camp since May 20, 2017, after he was declared a foreigner by the foreigners tribunal.

His son, Krishna, claimed that his father’s name had figured in all voter lists from 1961 till 2017 when Das received a notice from the police after which he was declared a foreigner.

  • Additional reporting by Manoj Kumar Ojha in Doomdooma