Week to NRC deadline, many are clueless

A majority of the 40.7 lakh people excluded from the draft don’t know how to find a place on the list
A majority of those excluded from the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam have no clue how to go about getting back on the list with only a week left for the crucial claims and objections round to end. The window for 40.7 lakh people excluded from among the 3.29 crore applicants was opened on September 25. It ends on December 15 with the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the exercise, declining the Assam government’s plea to extend the deadline.
Objection forms
NRC officials, gagged by the Supreme Court, declined to be specific about how many of those excluded have reapplied. They said the rate of submitting claim forms had increased with the deadline drawing near, but the total applications could be about 25% when time ran out. The NRC service centres have received about 200 objection forms. These have been submitted by people who doubt the citizenship of others included in the NRC draft. “An overwhelming majority of ground-level officials appear to be ignorant about the Supreme Court’s directives. As a result, people are apprehensive that a document rejected once may not be acceptable again. Everyone is thus searching for alternative documents, but the door is closed for such alternative as in the SOP [standard operating procedures, framed by the Centre], it is strictly mentioned that any documents issued after August 31, 2015, will not be acceptable as List B documents for claim applications,” said Dharmananda Deb, advocate and activist based in Silchar. “There are other problems too. The SOP does not allow those left out of the final draft of NRC to use a fresh legacy. This means an applicant cannot change the person from whom they had drawn their ancestry in the original application,” Mr. Deb added.
Lack of awareness
Individuals and groups helping the excluded staring at statelessness pointed out that lack of adequate awareness programmes had also affected the claims submission rate. “The despair among the people, mostly the illiterate in the villages, is real. We have tried to help as many people through 60 awareness campaigns in 17 districts, of the State” said Guwahati-based activist A.B. Khandaker.
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/week-to-nrc-deadline-many-are-clueless/article25701404.ece

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