NRC: Illiterates can get witness, community verification

Assam National Register of Citizens
Assam National Register of Citizens

New Delhi, Dec 21 : The government on Saturday clarified that for verification of the illiterate people in the proposed National Register of Citizens, witnesses and community verification will be done and citizens will not be put in undue trouble.

The government on Saturday released 13 FAQs on NRC as there has been widespread agitation on the issue of NRC and several apprehensions in the minds of the people.

On the issue of if the person is illiterate and does not have relevant documents, it has been clarified through the FAQs that that in this case, the authorities will allow that person to bring a witness. Also, other evidence and community verification will also be allowed. According to the information put in public domain, a proper procedure will be followed and “No Indian citizen will be put in undue trouble”, it added.

To the question that under NRC will the citizens have to prove that they are Indians, the FAQ has clarified that first of all, it is important to know that at the national level, no announcement has been made to begin the NRC process.

“If it is implemented, it does not mean that anyone will be asked for proof of being Indian,” it said.

NRC is merely a normal process to register your name in the Citizens’ Register.

“Just like we present our identity cards or any other document for registering our names in the voter list or getting Aadhaar Card made, similar documents shall need to be provided for NRC, as and when it is carried out,” the FAQ added.

On whether ancestry is required to be proven pre-1971, the FAQ says the answer is no.

“For pre-1971 genealogy, you do not have to submit any type of identity card or any documents like the birth certificate of parents/ancestors. It was valid only for the Assam NRC, based on the ‘Assam Accord’ and the directive of the Honourable Supreme Court. For the rest of the country, the NRC process is completely different and under The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003,” it added.

On a contentious question whether old documents are required, it says that there is nothing like that. Common documents will only be required to prove identity. When the NRC is announced at the national level, then rules and instructions will be made for it in such a way that no one will face any trouble.

“The government has no intention of harassing its citizens or putting them in trouble,” it said.

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