New Delhi: Assam’s long-drawn demand to update the National Register of Citizens came to a completion on Saturday. In the early 1950s, and then later after the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, the demand to update the state’s population was raised when the state demography witnessed a change. The shifting of state boundaries and induced migration every 40 years had redefined Assam’s geography and ethnic composition against the Hindu and Muslim populations of West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Close on the heels of anti-illegal foreigners' movement in Assam in 1980, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Gana Parishad (AGP) in 1980 had submitted a memorandum to the Centre, seeking the ‘updation’ of the list. The move was aimed at protecting the indigenous culture of Assam from illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
Before the updation exercise of the NRC was brought to force, Assam twice forced major changes in India’s citizenship framework in defense of illegal immigration from Bangladesh. The Citizenship Act of 1955 identified an Indian citizen on the basis of birth. This framework moved towards a more exclusionary principle with the 1986 and 2003 amendments to the Act granting citizenship by blood-based descent.
It was only in 2013 that the process of updating the Register was initiated under an order by the Supreme Court. Since then the SC bench of CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Rohintan Fali Nariman has monitored the developments of the exercise closely. The apex court Indian Administrative Service officer Prateek Hajela as the NRC State Coordinator.
Here’s a look at the decade-long exercise in numbers as it draws to a close:
-- The number of persons declared eligible for inclusion in final NRC is 3,11,21,004.
-- Total number of persons included from final draft NRC is 2,89,83,677.
-- Total number of persons excluded from final NRC stands at 19,06,657.
-- A total of 36,26,630 persons have been excluded from final NRC draft.
-- The number of objections received against inclusion after the publication of draft is 1,87,633.
-- There were 3,30,27,661 applicants in total.
-- The number of applications submitted stands at 68,37,660.
-- The number of documents submitted as proof of citizenship is 6.6 crore.
-- Manpower required for the exercise: 52,000 government officials.
-- The number of Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT) excluded persons can appeal: 300
-- The number of days within which an appeal can be made to FTs: 120 days
-- The number of excluded persons is bigger than the population of seven union territories and five states.