Dilipkumar Paul, Deputy Speaker of the Assam Assembly, had mixed feelings following the release of the draft National Register of Citizens [NRC] on Monday. His wife Archana’s name did not feature in the draft, which left him a little worried. However, the Barak Valley, often described as a division filled with Bangladeshis, got rid of its “Bangladeshi tag”. Mr. Paul, hailing from Cachar district of Barak Valley, said the latest NRC draft had put an end to the controversy about the citizenship of the residents of the Valley, south of Assam. “It was often claimed that we are all or the majority of us are from Bangladesh. But Monday’s draft stated that nearly 90% of Barak residents are Indian citizens. This will set the record straight,” he said. He was a little uncomfortable about the fact that his wife’s name was missing. “But I’m not tense as it will eventually be included,” said Mr. Paul, an MLA from Cachar district. The three districts of Barak Valley — Cachar, Hailakandi and Karimganj — have a population of about 37 lakh, noted the 2011 Census. Monday’s draft has dropped nearly four lakh of the 37 lakh residents, predominantly Bengalis.‘No need to panic’About 8% of the residents of Cachar, 11.82% of Karimganj and 14.2% of Hylakandi did not feature in the latest draft. Altogether a little over 11% residents could not make it. “But there is no reason to panic. Once the final list is out, we will find that only a tiny percentage is left out,” he said.
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