Guwahati: Exclusion of names of family members in the final NRC draft in Assam has emerged as a major concern for many among the over 40 lakh applicants whose names did not figure in the list. Several people whose names were not in the draft have claimed that they had submitted the same set of documents as their family members to establish their legacy date, but were left out.
Prominent personalities from the Barak Valley whose names are missing from the draft include Archana Paul, the wife of BJP MLA from Cachar Dilip Paul, and former Congress legislator Ataur Rahman Mazarbhuiya. The names of AIUDF’s Cachar unit president Samimul Islam and his family members also do not figure in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“This is not the final list and there is no need to panic. My wife’s name is not in the list and she will file her claim in due process. We should wait for the final NRC,” Paul said. Congress MLA from Karimganj (N), Kamalakhya De Purkayastha said while it is true that claims, objections and corrections can be made, exclusion of the names of some family members is “very unfair” and the NRC process has caused “immense harassment” to the poor.
“The draft is full of errors and is aimed at harassing people, particularly the poor who mostly work as daily wage earners and lack the necessary resources to travel to NRC Seva Kendras,” Purkayastha said. Forty-year-old Saira Begum, who hails from Bilasipara but works as a domestic help in Guwahati, said her name along with that of her daughter’s has appeared in the draft but excludes the name of her husband, who was declared as the head of the family during application and that of her two sons.
“We were shocked to find that his name is missing from the draft. My husband and sons have to now go again to the village where they had applied to get their names included. Our documents were the same and in fact, I had to establish my marriage to my husband,” she said.
Congress leader Bobbeeta Sharma pointed out that at least those names for which there were no doubts should not have been left out. “The names of many, both common and prominent personalities have been left out and that is why we have a huge excluded list of 40 lakh. My husband’s name was missing from the first list and has been included in the final draft but with spelling mistakes. These are irritants,” she said.
The work has been done carelessly and should not have happened in such an important matter, Shrama alleged. The head of Bengali department at the Cotton State University, Prasanta Chakraborty, said the names of his two elder brothers have been included in the final draft but those of their wives and children are missing.
“Names of my family – mine, my wife and my son’s were in the first list. The names of my brothers in the final draft. But the names of other family members are missing though we have the same legacy,” he said. This is probably due to lack of competence of the people working at the ground level and maybe also due to the pressure under which they had to work to complete the draft within the stipulated period, Chakraborty claimed.
“The huge number of 40 lakh excluded will definitely come down and we hope that the claims and objections are checked impartially so that genuine citizens are not harassed,” he added. There are many more who are facing the same plight and are now waiting for the authorities to inform them of the reason behind the omission of their names. The next step will be to file their claim in another prescribed form which will be available from August 30 to September 28. These claims will be finally disposed of after proper hearing, officials said.