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Assam may move Supreme Court on citizenship verification

| MANOJ ANAND
Published : Oct 22, 2016, 6:41 am IST
Updated : Oct 22, 2016, 6:41 am IST

Following poor response from other states in verifying and updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Assam government said it will approach the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the sta

Pierce Brosnan
 Pierce Brosnan

Following poor response from other states in verifying and updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Assam government said it will approach the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the states to cooperate in verifying documents.

The NRC contains details such as names of all Indian citizens, and is updated continuously. Assam will take up the matter with the apex court on October 26.

“Of the five lakh documents sent to 26 states for verification, only 7,000 have been returned, which is very poor,” state NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela said.

He said 402 NRC documents have also been sent to 40 countries, including Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, among others. Only Kuwait and South Africa have responded to the verification pleas.

He said there was no dearth of funds. The Centre has sanctioned Rs 908 crore, out of which Rs 335 crore has already been released, Mr Hajela.

He said of the total six crore documents issued by various authorities in Assam and submitted by applicants, 4.9 crore has been verified. The NRC office has received 68.2 lakh applications from across the state encompassing 3.27 crore population.

“After collecting family tree documents, we have so far completed 58 per cent of data-entry work. We have now started family tree verification. We are also conducting training of deputy commissioners on the NRC update, besides other government functionaries, from time to time,” Mr Hajela said.

The data digitisation process is going on at speed, he added.Some 50,000 government and 8,500 contractual staff are engaged in updating the NRC, Mr Hajela said.