Assam might consider updating citizens register: Gogoi

Guwahati, May 16 (IANS) The Assam government might take up the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout the state, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said Thursday.

Meeting a delegation of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which made the request, Gogoi said this will be considered subject to approval from the central government.

The AASU delegation had also sought the updating be completed before the Lok Sabha elections next year.

The chief minister has also assured the delegation that his government would consider their suggestions on the draft modalities prepared based on the recommendations of the cabinet sub- committee and presently under consideration of the central government.

The AASU delegation led by its adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya also underscored the need for a tripartite discussion on implementation of Assam Accord at the prime minister’s level.

Gogoi assured the delegation that he would take up the matter with the prime minister. The last tripartite talk at the prime minister’s level was held on May 5, 2005.

Earlier, it was decided that the government would start the process of updating the NRC in phased manner and that seven districts – Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Jorhat Sivsagar, Golaghat, Nagaon and Sonitpur -w ill be taken up in the first phase. The AASU had, however, been pressing to take up the process of NRC updation together in all the districts of Assam for better transparency.

The Assam government had already started a pilot project to update the NRC in Barpeta district in 2010. But the government had to put the pilot project on hold following the death of four people in police firing as supporters of the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) resorted to vandalism in the district on July 21, 2010.

While the AAS) and some other organizations have welcomed the decision of updating the 1951 NRC, the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU) had opposed updating the 1951 NRC on the grounds that it is not available in six districts of the state.

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