Top ULFA rebel leader Paresh Baruah's name figures in the first draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) even as names of many prominent politicians of Assam did not find a place in it.
Among those whose names were not in the first citizenship draft list, released on December 31 midnight, include opposition All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief and Dhubri Lok Sabha MP Badruddin Ajmal, his son and Jamunamukh MLA Abdur Rahim Ajmal and brother and Barpeta Lok Sabha MP Sirajuddin Ajmal.
Talking about the non-inclusion of several names in the first list, Registrar General of India Sailesh said, "There is no need to panic as there is ample time. The process is going on. Substantial progress has been made, but still lot of work needs to be done."
The first draft of the NRC has listed 19 million people out of the 32.9 million applicants as legal Indian citizens, in a massive exercise aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh.
Names of MLAs -- Ananta Kumar Malo (Abhayapuri South), Aminul Islam (Dhing), Nizanur Rahman (Gauripur), Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Kasimi (Bilasipara West) -- also did not figure.
While BJP MLAs whose names were not in the list include Shiladitya Deb (Hojai), Ashwini Rai Sarkar (Golakganj), Congress legislators whose names were absent include MLAs Sukur Ali (Senga), Sherman Ali (Baghbor) and Nurul Huda (Rupohi).
Besides Paresh Baruah, fellow rebel Arunudhoi Dohotia and NDFB leader B Bidai's names also feature in the list.
The list has the names of five of Baruah's family members, including that of his deceased mother Miliki Baruah. Baruah had launched his revolution for the 'sovereignty' of Assam nearly 40 years ago and is reportedly somewhere along the China-Myanmar border now.
In the NRC, Baruah's date of birth is stated as February 15, 1957 and birth place is Chakalibhoria village which is also known as Jeraigaon in Chabua area of Dibrugarh district.
The names of Paresh Baruah's brother Bikul Baruah, sister- in-law Renu Baruah, niece Dimpi Baruah and nephew Sukapha Baruah are in the list.
"Paresh Baruah may not be aware of his inclusion in the draft NRC. I had submitted the legacy data and the application at the NRC seva kendra. So we were certain that his name would feature in the list. Our family is happy about it," his sister-in-law Renu Baruah told reporters.
However, the names of Baruah's wife Boby Bhuyan Baruah and his two sons Ankur and Akash could not be included in the list "because some documents were missing. We will complete the process in the next phase," Renu said.
Registrar General of India, Sailesh, had told reporters while releasing the first part draft, that the rest of the names were under various stages of verification and another draft would be published as soon as the verification was done.