"After the government led by the BJP and its allies assumed power in 2016 in the state, I went to the NRC office on May 25 that year to take forward the process", he said.
The second and final draft of Assam's National Register of Citizens, which was released amid tight security on Monday, incorporated names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants.
In 1983, scores of people were chased down and killed by machete-armed mobs intent on hounding out Muslim immigrants.
Authorities say the process is to root out hordes of illegal Bangladeshi migrants.
To be recognized as Indian citizens, all residents of Assam had to produce documents proving that they or their families lived in the country before March 24, 1971. More than 70 people died and a bunch of pleas reached the Supreme Court thereafter.
Hundreds of thousands of people fled to India from Bangladesh during its New Delhi-backed war of independence from Pakistan in the early 1970s.
People can check their names through both offline and online methods at 2,500 NRC Seva Kendras (service centres) set up different parts of the state.
Critics see the citizenship test as a measure supported by Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aimed at driving out minority Muslims.
People wait to check their names on the draft list at the National Register of Citizens (NRC) centre at a village in Nagaon district, Assam state, India, July 30, 2018. Applications will be taken till September 30 until which time no one will be considered an illegal immigrant.
Migrants have since been accused of illegally entering the state and taking land and jobs, causing tensions with locals.
The first version of the list, which is being prepared under the supervision of the country's Supreme Court, came out in December.
Thirty-six years after losing his parents, sister and a four-year-old daughter in one of India's worst sectarian massacres, Abdul Suban says he is still trying to prove he's a citizen of the Hindu-majority nation. "However, you can not force somebody on the people of Assam and you have to ensure a balance between the two - aspirations of Indigenous people of Assam and the humanitarian consideration", Mr Sarma said in an exclusive interview with NDTV. "Saying they will be a given a chance to prove their citizenship is easy but doing so isn't so easy for them", said social activist Prashant Bora from Guwahati, the capital of Assam.
"If their names are not in the final draft, it doesn't mean that these people are illegal", Hajela told Al Jazeera. 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. Some people may not have been able to submit necessary documents.