In a major development in Assam's controversial updation process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the authorities reported receiving 2.6 lakh objections to the names included in the final draft published last July. Barring 600, all the objection forms were received in the last three days of the window period that ended December 31.
According to NRC sources, 31.2 lakh of the 40 lakh people who were left out of the draft list have also filed their claims for inclusion. About 9.80 lakh people did not file their claims, although NRC officials confirmed to NDTV that the final 'tabulation' will be completed in two days.
The claims and objection window ended on December 31, the deadline fixed by the Supreme Court for the purpose. A senior NRC official confirmed on condition of anonymity that over a lakh claims were filed on Monday alone.
Ironically, it was on December 13, 2017, that NRC authorities published the part draft in which 1.9 crore names out of 3.29 crore applicants were included. The final draft, published on July 30, 2018, had the names of 2.9 crore applicants. Around 40 lakh were left out.
While there was a delay in finalising the Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) for the claims and objection phase of the NRC, the Supreme Court gave a window period between September 15 to December 31 to raise claims and objections. But the process saw a very slow start. Several civil society groups claimed that few objections were filed because the rules for doing so were very rigid. The last-minute rush becomes all the more surprising in this context.
The NRC authorities are now expected to issue notices on the applications by January and launch the verification process the following month.
A joint committee of the state and central governments was appointed to study the position of those not in the final NRC.