NRC: People now want government action on the 'excluded'
A day after publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), people in Assam came out on Sunday with different opinions regarding the historical document, which the state has realised 34 years after the signing of the Assam Accord.
While some people wanted the government at the state and the Centre to complete the process for identification of the illegal foreigners as soon as possible and arrange for their deportation, others called for humane considering of the cases of excluded persons.
Although the final NRC published on August 31 excluded a total of 19,06,657 people from the document, yet these people would neither be detained nor termed as foreigners. The excluded people have been given 120 days time to approach the Foreigners' Tribunals, and subsequently the higher courts, to establish their Indian citizenship.
The final NRC has included a total of 3,11,21,004 persons, who have been found eligible on the basis of their documents.
"We are not happy over the figure of illegal foreigners in Assam. There are more who have made it to the NRC. However, now since we have the statistics through a legal process, the government must soon end the formalities to confirm their identity and take steps to deport them," said Rajen Baruah, a senior citizen.
"The government is trying to do politics over the NRC. However, the NRC is above party politics. We have got the NRC after a long and tiring process. It is not 100 per cent correct, yet we have come closer to a number. It is not good to complain about such a process," said noted intellectual Hiren Gohain.
Gohain also appealed everyone to consider the cases of excluded people with humanity.
"There is no question of granting citizenship to these people who have failed to prove their citizenship but we have sympathy for them. The government must consider their case with sympathy and humanity and must find out a solution for them," he said.
Educationist Udayaditya Bharali also welcomed the NRC and said that there may have been some problems as it was a massive exercise.
"This NRC has at least given a clear stand to the people of Assam on illegal foreigners," Bharali said, while appealing to everyone to abstain from activities that might threaten the peace of the state.
Senior journalist Haidar Hussain said that after the NRC, the people of Assam at least have a number regarding illegal foreigners.
"All these days there have been claims that there are 30 lakh Bangladeshis in Assam, 50 lakh Bangladeshi in Assam, etcetera. Now this NRC has given us a figure," he said, adding that people should be vigilant against forces that might try to spread tension in society. IANS