New Delhi: The Assam government has approached the Supreme Court and sought an extension of the deadline of the claims and objections window for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) beyond December 15 which is supposedly closing within a few days time. Also Read - Assam Lockdown Guidelines: Shops to Close at 11 AM, No Vehicular Movement After 12 PM | Full List of Fresh Restrictions Here
The state government asked for the extension of the deadline as only 10 lakh people out of the total 40 lakh excluded have been able to submit applications for the inclusion of their names in the final list. Meanwhile, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi has assured that the court, which is supervising the massive exercise in Assam, will consider their request. Also Read - Assam: 2 Killed, 1 Injured In Grenade Blast By Suspected ULFA Insurgents
Earlier, the apex court had allowed 10 documents and the applicants could submit any one of them to prove their credentials, but on November 1, at least five more documents were added to the list, which included the 1951 NRC, electoral roll up to March 24, 1971, and ration card. Also Read - 18 Elephants Killed in Lightning Strikes in Assam's Nagaon, State Govt Takes Stock of Incident
The NRC exercise, aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that shares a border with Bangladesh, was carried out only in Assam. The state had 80 lakh citizens when the NRC was first prepared in Assam in 1951. The exclusion of 40 lakh people in Assam triggered a huge political controversy. BJP national president Amit Shah highlighted the issue of illegal immigrants during his rallies in poll-bound states across the country.
Describing illegal immigration a threat to the country, Shah maintained the NRC is a way to solve the basic problems of the country.
“This country is not a Dharamshala (charitable home) that anyone can come and settle down here, “Shah said. In another rally, he promised ek ek ghuspethiye ko chun chun kar desh se bahar nikal denge (will identify each and every illegal immigrant and throw them out).
According to the 2011 census, Assam’s total population is over 3.11 crore. In July, the NRC draft listed 2.8 crore people, leaving out about 40 lakh applicants. The Supreme Court had said “claims and objections” can be submitted by December 15 and fixed a standard operating procedure (SOP).