The Assam Police have stepped up security in sensitive areas in the state ahead of the publication of the draft National Register of Citizens on December 31, IANS reported. The list will be available to the public from January 1.
The state has received 85 additional companies of central security forces and will call in the Army if needed, the police said.
The Unified Command, a three-tier counterinsurgency body, reviewed the security in the state during a meeting at the 4 Corps headquarters in the city of Tezpur. Director-General of Police Mukesh Sahay said the meeting focused on increasing security at NRC ‘seva kendras’, where the draft list will be put up, The Telegraph reported.
The police would also keep an eye on social media platforms for inflammatory posts that could incite violence, Sahay was quoted as saying by PTI.
Assam began to update the National Register of Citizens in 2015, ostensibly to create a definitive list of citizens of the state and root out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, a key election promise made by the Bharatiya Janata Party before it won the state elections in 2016. This is the first exercise of its kind since 1951.
“The NRC is being done to identify illegal Bangladeshis residing in Assam,” Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told Reuters. “All those whose names do not figure in the NRC will have to be deported. We are taking no chances and hence all security measures have been taken.”
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had assured “genuine” Indians that they would get enough opportunities to get their names added to the list, and urged people not to worry if they do not find their names on the first draft.