What next for applicants left out of the final Assam NRC list
Despite reports and social media speculation to the contrary, the governments at the Centre and in Assam have held out an assurance that those left out won’t be declared foreigners or sent to detention centres immediately.Updated: Aug 31, 2019 17:42 IST
With the final, updated National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam being published now, the question being asked in the northeastern state is this: how many applicants will be left out of the list that will determine citizenship status?
For those who came in late, the NRC, first prepared only for Assam in 1951, is being updated to identify Indian citizens and weed out illegal immigrants. The process initiated under directions from Supreme Court four years ago is also being monitored by the apex court.
The final list, published on Saturday, excluded over 1.9 million people from the list and included 3.11 crore people.
Names of four million of the 32.9 million applicants were missing from the complete draft NRC released in July 2018. Another list released this June excluded names of 100,000 more.
While most who were left out filed claims for inclusion, nearly 380,000 didn’t.
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Despite reports and social media speculation to the contrary, the governments at the Centre and in Assam have held out an assurance that those left out won’t be declared foreigners or sent to detention centres immediately. Importantly, they won’t be deported to Bangladesh.
These applicants will have the option of taking the legal route—first at the foreigners’ tribunals (FTs) and later in the civil courts—to prove citizenship. They would have to file appeals within 120 days of publication of the final NRC. “Every individual, whose name doesn’t figure in the final NRC, can represent his/her case in front of the FT. Under the provisions of Foreigners Act, 1946, and the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, only Foreigners Tribunals are empowered to declare a person as a foreigner,” said a Union home ministry statement earlier this month.
The Assam government has designated 56 of 100 existing FTs in the state for filing of appeals. The government is soon setting up 200 more FTs and has already selected 221 new members.
First Published: Aug 31, 2019 01:33 IST