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Over 19 Lakh Names Excluded from Final NRC List in Assam: Updates You May Have Missed

People who find their names missing from the NRC list will be allowed to appeal to the Foreigners Tribunal. The time limit to file the appeal has been extended to 120 days from 60.

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Updated:August 31, 2019, 11:23 AM IST
Over 19 Lakh Names Excluded from Final NRC List in Assam: Updates You May Have Missed
Illustration by Mir Suhail/News18

The National Register of Citizen or NRC, a list to identify bona fide residents and deport illegal migrants in Assam that shares its border with Assam, was published on Saturday, August 31. Over 19 lakh people have been left out and over 3.11 crore included in the final NRC list which has been published at nrcassam.nic.in.

“A total of 3,11,21,004 people found eligible for inclusion in final NRC, leaving out 19,06,657 persons, including those who did not submit their claims,” according to the website.

The complete draft of NRC that was published in 2018 had excluded over 41 lakh people. Around 2.9 crore people out of a total of 3.29 crore applicants were included in the NRC.

The Supreme Court has set a deadline of August 31 for publication of NRC. The Assam government has assured that legal help will be provided to people whose names are not included in the NRC.

Here's everything you need to know about NRC.

What is NRC?

The National Register of Citizen (NRC) is a list of Indian citizens. The first time the NRC was published was in 1951. The NRC was based on the Census of 1951 and the registers were kept in the offices of the deputy commissioners and sub-divisional officers. The list comprised of those who lived in India on January 26, 1950, or were born in India for at least five years before January 25, 1950 cut-off.

The Assam Accord signed in 1985 had promised several things among which one was updating the NRC. However, the process of updating the NRC was stagnated for several years until the Supreme Court took up the matter in 2013 and set a deadline for an updated National Register of Citizen for Assam.

People eligible in NRC list

People whose names appeared on the National Register of Citizen published in 1951.

People and descendants of those whose names appeared on any voter list prepared in Assam before the midnight of March 24, 1971.

All Indian citizens including their descendants who moved to Assam after March 24, 1971 (they need to furnish proof of the residence in another part of the country as on March 24, 1971).

People who came from Bangladesh between January 1, 1966 and March 24, 1971, registered themselves with the Foreigner Regional Registration Office and were declared by the Foreigner Tribunal as Indian citizens.

Why NRC update in Assam?

When the NRC was first created, the idea was that it would be updated like the Census from time to time, but it never happened. The NRC is basically an outcome of the All Assam Student's Union's (Aasu) demand for removing the names of all the illegal migrants from electoral role after a "rise" was noticed in the number of Bengali voters in Mangaldoi district in 1979. The Mangaldoi episode led to a six-year-long anti-foreigner movement in Assam and the Asom Gana Sangram Parishad which in present day is known by the name Asom Gana Parishad were the protagonists of the agitation.

The accord, signed between the Centre, the Assam government and the agitators agreed to identify and deport all "foreigners" living in the state of Assam. A cut-off date of March 24, 1971 was set for identifying illegal migrants.

What happens to people who names are not mentioned in the final NRC?

The government of Assam has assured people that those who find their names missing from the final NRC for Assam cannot be declared "foreigners" or illegal immigrants till all the legal options are exhausted.

People who find their names missing from the NRC list will be allowed to appeal to the Foreigners Tribunal. The time limit to file the appeal has been extended to 120 days from 60.

If a person loses the case in the tribunal, he/she can approach the Assam High Court and then the Supreme Court.

The Assam government has also said it will provide legal aid to the poor who find their names missing from the list.

People who are not included in the final NRC list will not be arrested immediately and they will enjoy every right of an Indian citizen until the foreigners’ tribunal declares them as foreigners.

Union Home Ministry said at least 1,000 tribunals will be set up in phases to hear disputes. Around 100 tribunals are already open and 200 more will be set up in the first week of September.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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