GUWAHATI: After all the speculation, it’s official that 40 lakh people have found their names missing in the final draft of the much talked National Register of Citizens (NRC) which is to identify genuine Indian citizens in Assam.

Registrar General of India which carried out the process of updating the NRC under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India on Monday announced that out of 3.29 crore applicants, 2.89 crore have been found to be eligible.

The first draft of the NRC was announced on December 31 of 2017 which saw 1.9 crore names included.

The NRC, unique to the state of Assam was first updated in 1951 to distinguish Indian citizens from illegal migrants from then East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh). The updating process started in 2015.

The updated NRC features 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.

RGI Sailesh, however, said that those who didn’t find their names in the final draft shouldn’t worry as they will be given ample opportunities. “It’s not the final list. They can apply for claims and verifications. It will take some time for the final list,” said Sailesh.

Among the names which are missing from the final draft are the family members of declared foreigners, the people whose names have been tagged as Doubtful or D voters by the Election Commission or whose names have been referred to the Foreigners’ Tribunal by Assam Border Police.

There are around 90,000 people who have been declared as foreigners in Assam as per the government report. Apart from that, there are around 1.25 D voters. And more than 1.31 lakh cases have been pending in Foreigners’ Tribunals in Assam.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal termed it a historic day which will forever stay etched in memory.

“For this remarkable feat, I extend my heartiest congratulations to the 55,000 officials engaged in NRC updation process and the people living across the Barak and Brahmaputra valleys, plains and hills of the state. I am confident that the NRC, which has become the instrument to safeguard the interest of greater Assamese society, would be able to create a positive atmosphere and it will also pave the way for realising the hopes and aspirations of the genuine Indian citizens,” said Sonowal.

Apprehending the failure of law and order situation, the security has been beefed up. At least 220 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed across the state.

Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia said that all the security measures have been taken to avert all kind of untoward situations.

People can check their names online or offline at 2,500 number of NRC Sewa Kendras across the state. The applicants can also subscribe to SMS service to check their status.

Coordinator Prateek Hajela said that people can apply for the claims, objections and correction from August 30 to September 28.

“There is no fear at all. If their names are not in the final draft, it doesn’t mean that these people are illegal. This is just a draft and I’m telling you that these people will be given ample opportunities for claims and objections. So, there is no reason to fear,” Hajela said.

Students’ bodies have appealed for peace and harmony. All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyya said it’s a great moment.

“It was a long-sought demand. It’s a historic day. We are happy. We also say that the people who didn’t find their names in the final list shouldn’t worry. If any genuine Indian citizen is left out, we will help them to initiate the process,” said Bhattacharyya on Monday.