DATED 20-11-2015 & 21-11-2015
Niyomiya Bartta & Asomiya Khabar Reports :: Niyomiya Bartta in its 20th November, 2015 & Asomiya Khabar in its 21st Nov. issue published news items captioned “বিলম্বিত প্ৰক্ৰিয়া : এইবাৰ দ্বিতীয়খন প্ৰপত্ৰ পূৰাব লাগিব আবেদনকাৰীয়ে-এন আৰ চি’ক লৈ গগৈৰ নতুন চক্ৰান্ত” & “১৫ ডিচেম্বৰৰ ভিতৰত ৬৮ লাখ পৰিয়ালৰ ঘৰে ঘৰে গৈ নথি পুনৰীক্ষণৰ কাম সম্পূৰ্ণ হোৱাৰ সম্ভাৱনা ক্ষীণ- এন আৰ চি’ক লৈ মুখ্যমন্ত্ৰী গগৈৰ চক্ৰান্ত-ৰাষ্ট্ৰীয় নাগৰিক পঞ্জীক ঢাল কৰি নিৰ্ব্বাচনী বৈতৰণী পাৰ হোৱাৰ কৌশল কংগ্ৰেছৰ-গুৱাহাটীত আজিৰে পৰা আৰম্ভ ঘৰে ঘৰে যোৱা প্ৰক্ৰিয়া” respectively.
Our Response :There is no iota of truth in the news report as updating of NRC 1951 in Assam is being undertaken by the RGI and as per modalities already agreed between the Central Government and the State Government. The entire process of its implementation is also being monitored by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. But for providing the state machinery for facilitating the implementation of the NRC update process, there is no room for any direct intervention to be made by the State Government in the said modalities. Updating of NRC, 1951 in the state is a herculean task which has been taken up for the first time ever in the entire country. The implementing authority is committed towards making an error free NRC. The NRC authority has to examine eligibility of persons in a whopping 68 lakhs NRC application forms and verify the authenticity and acceptability of an estimated 4.8 crores of documents received with the application forms across the state. Verification of documents would require validation by way of comparing with the originals available with the issuing authorities. We also duty bound to ascertain the correctness of all the linkage claims made by the applicants through various linkage documents together with their individual identities to be accomplished by undertaking Field Verification exercise. There was no laxity or inaction for two and half months after receipt of application forms as alleged in the news report. Physical or manual transfer of the huge quantum of documents to different issuing authorities spreading across the state for validation/verification is not possible within the fixed timeline. There is no option other than resorting to electronic transfer of these 4.8 crore documents using the latest Information & Technological tools to complete the entire verification work within a very short span of time so that the court stipulated timeline for final publication of NRC could be met. Any software developed for the purpose also needs time to get settled before it is launched for operation. The implementing machinery too needs to be trained up, equipped with the statutory and procedural details and made well prepared before undertaking an extremely important exercise such as verification process. The NRC authority needed some time after application receipt phase to prepare the implementing machinery which is now completely geared up with activities connected with verification phase at state, district, circle and NSK levels.
Collection of manual family tree details by the VTs during field verification is also aimed at saving the citizens’ family legacy codes from being misused by impostors without the knowledge of the genuine legacy inheritors or for premium charged against. At the same time, the family tree data provided by the applicants will help the NRC authority to detect false linkage claims made by some unscrupulous elements to secure a place in the updated NRC. Though not mandatory, by providing manual family tree details by filling up the MFT form, people not only would serve their own cause but also will save precious time of the VTs who shall have to complete the entire verification exercise within Supreme Court ordained schedule. Manual Family Tree Form should not be equated with the NRC application form. The applicants were duty bound to apply for inclusion of their names in updated NRC. The NRC authority is duty bound to comply with the order of the Apex Court to make an error free NRC by carrying out verification of claims diligently and in due process of law. VTs are empowered to make queries, collect information, take evidence to ascertain authenticity of linkage claims as per the mandate of Rule 8 of Citizenship Rules, 2003. Collection of information through MFT form is simply a part of the field verification mechanism being adopted in the larger interest of making an absolutely error free NRC for the state.
Doinik Janambhumi Reports : Doinik Janambhumi in its 5th November, 2015 issue published a news item on the suicidal death of one Jamir Khan of Tikak China Basti under Ledo Police Station in Tinsukia district which allegedly linked the incident to failure of the deceased to include his name in the updated NRC. The report further alleged that the said suicidal death occurred after receipt of some letter to the deceased suspecting his citizenship to be doubtful (‘D’ Voter) from the district administration.
Our Response : There is no iota of truth in the news report as the question of exclusion of the name of the deceased from updated NRC does not arise at this stage as publication of NRC shall take place only on 1st March, 2016 after completion of the ongoing process of verification of documents submitted by the NRC applicants. The draft NRC is scheduled to be published on 1st of January, 2016. Those applicants whose names will not figure in the draft NRC, would be able to file their claims for inclusion during Claims and Objection phase The NRC authority has no connection with adjudication proceedings with regard to “D” Voter issue. As such, the news attributing failure to include name in updated NRC as the cause of suicidal death of Jamir Khan is totally baseless. However, DC, Tinsukia has been asked to cause an immediate enquiry into the matter and to furnish a detailed factual report to the undersigned within 4 days.
Janasadharan Reports : The Janasadharan in its 3rd October, 2015 issue published a news item captioned “জন্মৰ প্ৰমাণ পত্ৰৰ বেহা- ধনশিৰিত নীৰৱ দৰ্শক প্ৰশাসন” which alleged prevalence of flourishing fake birth certificate rackets in Merapani, Uriamghat, Bhitar Chungajan, Naujan, Sorupathar and Barpathar etc areas under Golaghat district. The report further alleged that four to five birth certificates issued against a single serial number are found to have been manufactured fraudulently, which were enclosed with the NRC application forms by people of suspected citizenship to claim eligibility/linkage for inclusion in NRC.
Our Response : The Deputy Commissioners and the Superintendents of all the districts have already been asked to take immediate action for closing down such fake birth certificate rackets if found to be operating in their respective districts and also to apprehend all the culprits in due process of law by the State Coordinator, NRC, Assam. Simultaneously, they have also been urged to sensitize members of the public through rigorous awareness campaign in their districts about the futility of producing fake birth certificates for getting names included in updated NRC as any documents will be nullified if found to be fake during verification. They are further advised to convey the message to all concerned that involvement in such illegal activities is punishable under section 420 IPC and also under the provisions of section 17 of “The Citizenship Act, 1955” with imprisonment for five years or with fine for Rupees fifty thousand or with both. The State Government, too, has issued detailed instructions to DCs of all the districts across the state to take stringent action against fake birth certificate racketeers operating within their respective districts. The Deputy Commissioner & District Registrar of Citizen Registration, Golaghat has been asked to cause an immediate enquiry into the alleged report on circulation of fake birth certificates in his district and to ensure scrutiny of authenticity of all such birth certificates immaculately at the time of verification of documents enclosed with NRC application forms in his district. DC, Golaghat has also been called upon to furnish ‘Action Taken Report’ on corrective action as directed.