Assam releases first draft with 1.9 crore names as 'legal' residents

People can check their names in the first draft at NRC sewa kendras across Assam from 8 am on January 1. They can also check for information online and through SMS services. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 01, 2018, 02.58 AM (IST)

The much-anticipated first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published on Sunday where almost 1.9 crore Assam residents have been tagged as "legal". 

Out of the total population of around 3.29 crore in Assam, 1.9 crore have been declared legal while the rest await further stages of verification. 

"This is a part draft. It contains 1.9 crore persons, who have been verified till now. The rest of the names are under various stages of verification. As soon as the verification is done, we will come out with another draft," Registrar General of India (RGI) Sailesh said. 

More names will soon be announced, assured NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela addressing those whose names have not been included in the list. 

"It is a tedious process to verify the names. So there is a possibility that some names within a single family may not be there in the first draft," said Hajela.

"There is no need to panic as rest of the documents are under verification," he said.

The next draft will reportedly be out in April and will be completed by 2018 itself, as per guidelines of the supreme court, the Registrar General of India said.

The applications kicked off in May 2015 with a total of 6.5 documents turned in by 69.27 lack residents of Assam. 

"The process of accepting complaints will start once the final draft is published as rest of the names are likely to appear in that," Hajela said.

People can check their names in the first draft at NRC sewa kendras across Assam from 8 am on January 1. They can also check for information online and through SMS services.

The RGI informed that the groundwork for this mammoth exercise began in December 2013 and 40 hearings have taken place in the Supreme Court over the last three years.

Assam, which faced influx from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state with an NRC, first prepared in 1951.

The state had about 80 lakh residents when the NRC was prepared for the first time. 

There have been continuous problems over illegal immigrants living in Assam and issues of identification have been debated multiple times. 

A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979.

(With PTI inputs)