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Assam govt did nothing to ensure error-free NRC: anti-

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Press Trust of India Guwahati
An organisation against infiltration on Wednesday accused the Assam government of "doing nothing at the right time" to ensure an error-free NRC, while alleging that the ruling BJP was only interested in including Hindu Bangladeshis in the document.
It is now "evident" that the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the final version of which will be published on August 31, will include a large number of foreigners illegally living in Assam, claimed the Prabajan Virodhi Manch (Forum Against Infiltration).
"They (the state government and the BJP) were only so happy to turn a blind eye whenever discrepancies in the NRC process came to light - be it officers/personnel caught on video seeking bribe, foreigner being deployed in the NRC process, daily reports in the media of subversion of the NRC process, etc," chief of the Manch Upamanyu Hazarika said in a statement here.
The state government has been "doing nothing at the right time when it was required,... no proceedings (were) drawn up against such officers", it claimed.
"The chief minister and the leaders of the ruling party have started blaming all and sundry, particularly the Chief Coordinator of NRC Prateek Hajela for what is evidently going to be an NRC riddled with flaws, which will include a large number of foreigners," Hazarika claimed.
"Their singular obsession was to include Hindu Bangladeshis in the NRC by granting them citizenship. They were not even bothered with large scale inclusion of foreigners in the draft NRC," he alleged.
After the first NRC draft was published on December 31, 2017, the chief minister had described it as 'historic', and now the BJP is crying foul over the inclusion of a large number of illegal foreigners in the document, he said.
"Either, they are enacting a drama to assuage the sentiments of the indigenous people..., or it is plain incompetence," he insisted.
The Manch chief said the only alternative left to protect the identity of Assamese people is to ensure that land, employment and trade licences are reserved only for the indigenous people as is the case in other Northeastern states.
The BJP on Monday attacked NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela apprehending that foreigners might make it to the final version of the register.
On August 1, BJP members in the Assam Assembly had claimed that the rate of exclusion of NRC applicants in the districts bordering Bangladesh was less than the state average of 12.5 per cent.
Assam, which had faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.
It is for the first time since then that the NRC is being updated.

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First Published: Aug 28 2019 | 8:45 PM IST

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