GUWAHATI: The final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) due to be published on June 30 has been delayed. NTC coordinator told the media that the deadline could not be met because of widespread floods in Assam.

The Supreme Court that is monitoring the entire process will issue a fresh deadline on June 2.

“Though it was scheduled to be published on June 30, we won’t be able to do that. There is a hearing in this regard in the Supreme Court on July 2, where we will inform the honourable court about it and we will be given a fresh date. The flood has affected the work process in some areas of the state especially after June 13 and for that we are lagging at least eight to 10 days behind,” NRC coordinator Prateek Hajeela said.

The first NRC was prepared just after the census in 1951 by recording particulars of all the persons enumerated during that census. Unique to the state of Assam, this document was prepared to distinguish Indian citizens from illegal migrants from then East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh).

The updated NRC will be published to include the names of those persons or their descendants whose names appeared in the NRC, 1951 or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to March 25 of 1971, or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to midnight of the same period, which would prove their presence in Assam as per the set dates.

The first draft published on December 31,2017 featured the names of 1.9 crore people out of a total of 3.29 crore.

“Even if it’s not going to be published by June 30, most of the work has been completed and we are hopeful that we will be able to get it published in a very short time. Everything thing will be decided by the court and we will follow it accordingly,” Hajeela maintained.

Hajeela had recently told the media that 50,000 ‘foreigners’ will not be included in the final draft, but there is apprehension that the numbers of those excluded will be much higher.

A NRC notification on May 2 directed the police (border) to refer brothers, sisters and other family members of 'declared foreigners' to the foreigners' tribunals and not include their names in the NRC. Many organizations think that this will increase the number of people whose names will be missing.

Though the flood situation has improved in the state, at least 31 lives have been lost in the last several weeks. Most of the districts in Barak Valley and many in Brahmaputra valley were under water. According to Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), more than over 68,000 people are affected by the floods as of Wednesday.