Assam to update citizens' register in all districts

Guwahati, July 4 : The Assam government Thursday announced that work on updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will start in all districts of the state simultaneously.

This decision was taken at a meeting between the state's powerful students' organisation - All Assam Students' Union (AASU) - and the Group of Ministers (GoM) formed by the state government to look into the matter.

"We held a meeting with the AASU today (Thursday) and discussed several issues regarding the NRC updation. We have also finalized the modalities for updating the NRC and several demands put forwarded by the students' body had been incorporated in finalizing the modalities," said Revenue Minister and GoM member Prithibi Majhi after the meeting.

"The modality, which was finalized after arriving at a consensus today, will be sent to the centre for its approval before July 16," he said, adding that the updation work will be started in all districts simultaneously after getting approval from the central government.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya expressed satisfaction over the outcome.

"We have been demanding for a long time to start the work for NRC's updating in all districts simultaneously. The government today agreed to our demand," he said.

"We have also been demanding to complete the process of updating the NRC before next year's Lok Sabha polls while the government had been demanding three years' time for updating the process. Today's meeting also decided that the government will try to complete the process at the earliest instead of in three years' time," he said.

The Assam government had already started a pilot project to update the NRC in Barpeta district in 2010, but had to put it on hold following the death of four people in police firing July 21, 2010, as supporters of the All Assam Minority Students' Union (AAMSU), which opposed the move, resorted to vandalism.

While the AASU and some other organisations have welcomed the decision of updating the 1951 NRC, the AAMSU had opposed its updating on the grounds that it is not available in six districts of the state.

--IANS (Posted on 05-07-2013)

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