After six months of publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the authorities are trying to reopen the process for internal checks to weed out foreigners from the list. The authorities are running the filter before the list is sent for formal notification by the Registrar General of India.
The new NRC state coordinator Hiresh Dev Sarma has all told Deputy Commissioners of all the 33 districts in Assam to give details of "ineligible persons" who have been included in the NRC.
A top NRC official said this step is a part of the post-final NRC publication process where they need to check if any "ineligible" category people have been included.
However, another Assam NRC source told NDTV that this process was carried out before the publication of the final NRC list in August last year.
The categories of people that will be checked are doubtful voters (DV), declared foreigner (DF), those with cases pending in foreigners' tribunal (PFT) and descendants of DV, DF and PFT.
The Supreme Court that is monitoring the Assam NRC had ordered that people in these categories would be kept on hold and not included in the final NRC list.
This latest move by the NRC comes at a time when the list is finally back online. The Assam NRC was in the news after the final NRC list disappeared online following suspension of cloud service by the service provider Wipro over a payment dispute.
A notice addressed to the Deputy Commissioner and District Registrar of Citizen Registration (DRCR) for all districts on Wednesday reads, "It has come to the knowledge of the undersigned that after publication of final NRC on 31st August 2019, few names of ineligible persons are found present in the final NRC".
Now this comes after the BJP alleged that Assam NRC should be scraped or re-verified since it has wrongful inclusions. Several civil society groups including the main petitioners at the Supreme Court in the Assam NRC case, Assam Public Works (APW), has again petitioned the top court for 100 percent re-verification.
In a letter, the NRC coordinator said, "The matter is of utmost importance as the details have to be reported to the Registrar General of India urgently".
Sources said the authorities may be creating a pitch for reopening of the NRC list. Over 19 lakh people of the 3.3 crore applicants have been excluded in the final list and they are awaiting their official exclusion orders, after which they will get a 120-day window to apply again in the foreigners tribunals to prove their citizenship claims.