Uneasiness, sleepless nights as Assam awaits final NRC list today

Updated: Aug 31, 2019, 08:24 IST | Agencies

Guha is a grandson of renowned historian, economist and poet of Assam Amalendu Guha and his family has lived in upscale Ulubari locality of Guwahati since 1930. All in the family but Nabarun figure in the draft NRC

This photo shows a road sign for a new detention centre being built at Kadamtola Gopalpur village in Goalpara district, for people excluded in the NRC
This photo shows a road sign for a new detention centre being built at Kadamtola Gopalpur village in Goalpara district, for people excluded in the NRC

Guwahati: Nabarun Guha shuffles uneasily in his chair, signs of worry writ large on his face. The journalist has visited the NRC Sewa Kendra (NSK) twice for hearing after his name did not appear in the interim and final draft, and is uncertain whether he will be able to make it to the final Register of Citizens when it is published on Saturday. Guha is a grandson of renowned historian, economist and poet of Assam Amalendu Guha and his family has lived in upscale Ulubari locality of Guwahati since 1930. All in the family but Nabarun figure in the draft NRC.

"My parents have passed away, so the question of inclusion of their names does not arise. My father's name was in the electoral rolls of 1966 and 1970. I used his legacy codes and showed my linkage to him through my voter ID card. Still my name was not included," Guha said. "It really baffles me. I don't know whether my name will be finally included or not. If a mistake can happen twice, it can happen for a third time as well," Guha told PTI, his furrowed forehead betraying the anxiety.

A labourer works on the site. Pics/AFP
A labourer works on the site. Pics/AFP

Guha is not alone. Lakhs of households across Assam are on edge a day before the publication of the hugely contentious NRC, which will determine bonafide Indian citizens as well identify illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Monowara Begum, 45, a domestic help, is waiting for the NRC on a wing and a prayer. Though she and her husband Lal Bahadur Ali figured in the draft NRC, the names of all her four children — Laili, Anna, Monirul and Sahidul were missing.

"I am so worried that I cannot sleep at night. I just don't know what will happen if their names are not there in the final list," she said despairingly. When reminded of the government's assurance that nobody whose name does not appear in the list will be detained and that they can appeal before a foreigners tribunal, a sob tore at her throat.

"We have already spent our hard earned money for attending hearings. If we have to go to tribunals now, we will have to sell our land and home," she said. The NRC will be in public domain on Saturday, and state authorities have clamped prohibitory orders in vulnerable areas, including in Guwahati, under section 144 of CrPC. This has been done to ensure the normal functioning of offices, movement of public and traffic flow, officials said.

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