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Final NRC list to be released today, security amplified in Assam

Guwahati | Security in Assam has been beefed up under 144 Cr PC, and prohibitory orders have been issued by the government on Thursday in vulnerable areas of the state.

The final NRC list, which will identify the bonafide citizens of the state, is scheduled to be declared on August 31. The steps have been taken by the district administration to maintain peace and public order ahead of after the publication of the contentious list and will remain in force till further notice, officials said.

Under 144 Cr Pc, the administration in the state has issued orders banning large assemblies and use of loudspeakers in some areas regarded vulnerable to violence, including parts of the state capital Guwahati.

In Guwahati the prohibitory order was clamped in Dispur, where the secretariat and Assembly complexes are located, besides at Bhangagarh, Basistha, Hatigaon, Sonapur and Khetri police station areas, the police said.

The NRC order has been issued to identify the “foreigners” or the illegal immigrants in the state.

The process to update the register began following a Supreme Court order in 2013, with the state’s nearly 33 million people having to prove that they were Indian nationals prior to March 24, 1971.

The last list that was published had left out about 4 million citizens. The final list will be in the form of a supplementary list that will show the status of the people who were left out in the draft released in July, 2018.

“Every individual left out from the final NRC can appeal to the Foreigners Tribunals,” a spokesperson for the government said.

The state police on Thursday appealed to the people not to believe in rumours as some elements are trying to create confusion.

The government has ensured adequate safeguards for people, whose name may not appear in the final NRC, it said.

The time limit for doing so has been increased from 60 days to 120 days and the government will provide legal aid through the district legal service authority to the needy who are excluded from the NRC. Besides, the number of Foreigners Tribunals have been increased and are being set up at convenient locations.

An official in the Home Ministry has said that it has been a consistent effort to reach out to as many people to inform that non-inclusion in the final NRC list can be challenged and there is no need to panic.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on August 19 indicated that the state government could explore legislative options to deal with “wrongful inclusion” of some names after publication of the final NRC.

Appealing to the people to maintain peace, he said, “A government is there in Assam to look after people’s interest. All are living here with unity and honour … We are confident that all sections of society will come forward to maintain peace and tranquility for all times to come.”

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