MHA issues guidelines to Assam, neighbouring States ahead of Draft NRC publication

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The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has asked the Assam government and neighbouring states to ensure maintenance of law and order in the run up to and post-publication of draft National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Assam government has been advised to set up a state-level coordination committee under the chairmanship of chief secretary to ensure coordination among state agencies, NRC authorities and Central agencies. Round-the-clock control rooms at the state capital and district headquarters are to be activated to receive complaints and coordinate prompt response.

The Registrar General of India (RGI) has been asked to use all means of communication including websites, toll-free numbers, SMS etc, to provide information to public about the Draft NRC. An intensive public awareness campaign has been launched to disseminate information regarding the NRC process, options available for individuals whose names do not figure in the Draft, the procedure and timeline for filing claims and objections, etc so as to address the concerns of the people left out of the list.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had in a statement earlier assured that every individual will get justice and will be treated in a humane manner. All individuals will have sufficient opportunity for the remedies available under the law. “Government wants to make it clear that after draft NRC publication on July 30, adequate opportunity for claims and objections will be available. All claims and objections will be duly examined”, said Singh.

Further, MHA has advised the Assam government that no action should be initiated by the administration or the police based on the Draft NRC. There is no question of referring the persons whose names do not figure in the Draft NRC to the Foreigners’ Tribunal as people are entitled to file claims and objections and due opportunity has to be given to them before final publication. The question of referring any person to a detention centre based on NRC exercise also does not arise. State government has been asked to issue clear instructions in this regard to all Administrative and Police functionaries.

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