Central government has been claiming that the NPR (National Population Register) has nothing to do with the NRIC (National Register of Indian Citizens) and the information collected through the NPR process will only be used for delivering the welfare schemes. These claims are not in synch with the rules of the NRC. The rules say that it’s NPR data which will primarily be used to prepare for the register of the citizens.
The provision of the constitution which lays down the directions of carrying out the NRIC exercise is the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. This citizenship rules, 2003 say that the NPR information collected through the enumerators will be used to prepare the register of National Citizens.
While laying down the processes of the NRIC, the clause 3, 4 of the rule 3 of the citizen registration act 2003 tells the government to collect the information for preparing the NPR.
“The Central Government may, by an order issued in this regard, decide a date by which the Population Register shall be prepared by collecting information relating to all persons who are usually residing within the jurisdiction of Local Registrar,” reads the clause 3 of the rule 3.
And the clause 4 of the rule 3 says the Register of the Indian Citizens will have the same information which was collected through the NPR process.
“The Local Register of Indian citizens shall contain details of persons after due verification made from the Population Register,” reads the clause of the rule 3.
Then, the clause 3 of the rule 4 (the Preparation of National Register of Indian Citizen), tells the local registrar to verify the information collected in the NPR exercise.
“For the purposes of preparation and inclusion in the Local Register of Indian Citizens, the particulars collected of every family and individual in the Population Register shall be verified and scrutinized by the Local Registrar, who may be assisted by one or more persons as specified by the Registrar General of Citizen Registration,” reads the clause 3 of the rule 4.
Then, the clause 4 of the rule 4 says the local registrar will mark out the citizens doubtful in the population register.
“During the verification process, particulars of such individuals, whose Citizenship is doubtful, shall be entered by the Local Registrar with appropriate remark in the Population Register for further enquiry and in case of doubtful Citizenship, the individual or the family shall be informed in a specified proforma immediately after the verification process is over,” reads the clause 4 of the rule 4.
Then, the doubtful citizens will be asked to prove their citizenship before the Registrar of the Citizen Registration. Those who will fail to prove their citizenship will be excluded from the National Register of Indian Citizens.
“Every person or family specified in sub‑rule (4), shall be given an opportunity of being heard by the Sub‑district or Taluk Registrar of Citizen Registration, before a final decision is taken to include or to exclude their particulars in the National Register of Indian Citizens,” reads the rule 5 of the act.
These are the rules and steps which has been laid down in the Citizenship Registration Act 2003 for creating the Nation Register of Citizens. It shows the NPR exercise is the foundation of the entire NRC exercise.
The government is trying to mislead the people about the NPR in order to collect the information from them as it has been doing so about the CAA to end the protest against the discriminatory citizenship act (CAA). The government has been claiming that the CAA is to grant citizenship to the persecuted people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan but the act does not mention the persecution anywhere. However, it talks about giving citizenship to the illegal immigrants belonging to non-Muslim communities. Those non-Muslims who will fail to make to the citizens’ register will be granted citizenship by declaring them illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The assurance of the home minister Amit Shah in the parliament about not marking out the citizens as doubtful in the NPR process is not in accordance with the NPR rules. If he really means it, he needs to amend these rules and issue a government notification in this regard. So, the leaders of anti-CAA/NRC movement has rightly demanded to amend these rules. But the government has so far failed to do so.
Therefore, it becomes necessary to boycott the NPR exercise in order to foil the NRC process which will render crores of people stateless. The excluded people will be stripped of their citizenship and they will lose their every right in this country. If they are Hindus, Sikh, Christian and Budh, they will get the citizenship through the CAA by declaring themselves as illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. But only Muslims will end up in the detention centers.