Assam final NRC list out: 19,06,657 people excluded

NRC final list out: At least 19 lakh people in Assam have been excluded  in the final NRC list.

 A total of 3.29 crore people had applied for it, of which 3.11 crore have made it to the final list.

New Delhi (August 31, 2019)

More than 19 lakh people in Assam have been excluded from the final version of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam that was released by the government today. A total of 3.29 crore people had applied for the NRC, of which 3.11 crore made it to the final list.

The National Register of Citizen (NRC) is till date the biggest drive to verify citizenship in India. It is aimed at identifying illegal immigrants who entered and settled in Assam, primarily from Bangladesh, after March 25, 1971 and deport them to their native country.

NRC state coordinator Prateek Hajela said a total of 3,11,21,004 people have been found eligible for inclusion in the final version of the NRC. This leaves out a total of 19,06,657 people, including those who did not submit their claims.

“Those not satisfied with outcome can file appeal before Foreigners’ Tribunals,” Prateek Hajela said.

On June 30, 2018, the Assam government had released the second draft of the NRC. back then the number of people excluded from the NRC was 40 lakh. This number has now come down to 19 lakh in the final list.

While the intent of the exercise is to identify and possibly deport the so-called illegal migrants, the process and its fallout have become highly problematic. There have been cases where military veterans, government officials, and even family members of a former President of India and former chief minister of Assam were excluded from the draft NRC list and were forced to prove that they were not “illegal” migrants before the Foreigners’ Tribunals. In other cases, this process has thrown up bizarre situations where a brother finds his name in the NRC list while his sibling gets excluded; or a father makes it to the list but his son doesn’t, etc.

The final list of NRC in Assam comes 14 years after the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting between the central government, the Assam government and the All Assam Students Union (AASU) where a consensus was developed that the National Register of Citizens should be updated to honour the promises made in the Assam Accord of 1985.

Last year, when the second draft of the NRC was released on June 30, a huge controversy erupted as nearly 40 lakh people in Assam were excluded from the NRC.

The National Register of Citizens was first prepared in Assam in 1951 The 1951 NRC is said to have covered each and every person enumerated during the Census of 1951 in Assam.

Over the past decades, there were demands that the National Register of Citizens should be updated in Assam. These demands stemmed in the wake of cross-border illegal migration into Assam, primarily from Bangladesh, which has been repeatedly resented by the locals. Opposition to this unchecked illegal inflow of people has resulted in bouts of violence and state-wide protests in the past.

Identification, detention and deportation of such immigrants was a major demand over which the All Assam Students Union (AASU) launched a 6-year movement which ended with the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985.

To prove their citizenship, people in Assam have to show documentary evidence that they or their ancestors were born in Assam before March 25, 1971, which has been set as the cut-off date.

The government says, “The NRC, when updated, shall become an important legal document to fall back upon for a citizen with reference to his/her status of Indian Citizenship.”

Proving one’s citizenship is only a part of the NRC process because the government’s real intent behind the exercise is to identify “illegal” immigrants and deport them to their native countries. Before being finally deported, those left out in the final NRC will have a chance to present their case before the Foreigners’ Tribunals set-up in Assam for the sole purpose of identifying illegal immigrants. If they are identified as “illegal” migrants, they will be locked-up in detention camps, until their deportation. Media reports have been stating that these detention camps are infamous for their inhumane living conditions.

(Source: India Today)

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