Extension of NRC deadline sought

Absence of staff for panchayat polls may hinder filing of claims, say Barak Valley organisations
More than 40 organisations of southern Assam’s Barak Valley have demanded an extension of the ongoing claims submission phase of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) in view of the panchayat elections. Less than 20% of the 40.70 lakh people excluded from the complete draft NRC have filed claims since the window opened on September 25. The panchayat polls for the three districts of Barak Valley — Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj — are scheduled for December 9. The first phase of polling is on Wednesday.
Memorandum submitted
The Citizens’ Rights Protection Coordination Committee, representing the Barak Valley NGOs, submitted a memorandum of demands to the State NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela through Cachar Deputy Commissioner S. Lakshmanan on Monday. “Since panchayat elections in Assam are scheduled for December 5 and 9 and the counting for December 12, most government officials, including officials of NRC seva kendras (NSKs), are involved in election-related duties. Because of the absence of staff in government offices and the NSKs, people may not be able to submit their claims in time,” said Tapodhir Bhattacharjee, the committee’s chairman. Sadhan Purkayastha, general secretary of the committee, said time was crucial for the linguistic minorities who were staring at statelessness. “We suspect that the demand raised by some organisations for re-verification of the final draft NRC is a conspiracy against them and has been raised by a section of the political forces to create animosity among the State’s communities,” he said.
December 15 deadline
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has also sought more time for the Supreme Court-monitored exercise that ends on December 15. Of the 3.29 crore applicants, 2.89 crore names had appeared in the final draft NRC published on July 30. Those excluded were provided a specific period to file claims for inclusion of their names in the updated NRC with existing or fresh documents to prove their citizenship.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/extension-of-nrc-deadline-sought/article25667519.ece

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