Guwahati: Over 19 lakh people have been left out of the final National Register of Citizens or NRC – a list intended to identify legal residents and weed out illegal immigrants from Assam – that was published this morning. 3.11 crore have been included in the crucial citizens’ list. This is the second citizens’ list published in the country after 1951. Coming just weeks after the government ended Jammu and Kashmir’s decades-old special status, the NRC too is expected to go down as one of the biggest moves in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s second term.
Here are top 10 updates on the Assam citizens’ list (NRC):
- The centre has said people whose names don’t appear in the final NRC cannot be declared foreigners till all legal options are exhausted. Every person left out of the NRC can appeal to the Foreigners Tribunal, and the time limit to file the appeal has been extended from 60 to 120 days.
- The status of both inclusion and exclusion can be viewed online on the NRC website, www.nrcassam.nic.in. The website crashed soon after the list was published. People can also check the status at “Seva Kendras” set up by the state government, offices of the deputy commissioner and offices of the Circle Office.
- Security has been tightened in Assam, with tens of thousands of paramilitary personnel and police posted across the north-eastern state bordering Bangladesh.
- Around 41 lakh people were left out of a draft list that was published last July. They were asked to come up with documents to prove their claims.
- The Home Ministry said at least 1,000 tribunals will be set up in phases to hear disputes; 100 tribunals are already open and 200 more will be set up in the first week of September. If one loses the case in the tribunal, one can approach the high court and then the Supreme Court. No one will be put in detention centres until all legal options are exhausted, the government has said.
- The centre has said it will give legal aid to those who have been left out of the NRC through the district legal services authorities. The ruling BJP in Assam and its rival Congress plan to assist some “genuine” people whose names are missing in the NRC, and several non-profits have come forward to volunteer with legal help.
- Some 60,000 policemen have been posted and the centre has sent 20,000 additional paramilitary forces to Assam. Any gathering of more than four people at several public places is banned, especially at sensitive areas that have seen violence in the past, including Assam’s main city Guwahati.
- The NRC has immense significance for the people of Assam as the state witnessed a six-year-long movement between 1979 to 1985 seeking detection and deportation of illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
- Many BJP leaders have raised concerns over a large number of Bengali Hindus being left out of the NRC. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, after meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah last week, had said the centre may consider a law to remove foreigners who could have entered the list and add genuine citizens who could have been left out.
- The National Register of Citizens (NRC), first published in Assam in 1951, is being updated as per directions of the Supreme Court to segregate Indian citizens living in Assam from those who have illegally entered the state from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971.
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