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UN Refugee Chief Urges India to Ensure No One Left Stateless After Over 19 Lakh Excluded from Final NRC List

He urged India to ensure no one ends up stateless, 'including by ensuring adequate access to information, legal aid, and legal recourse in accordance with the highest standards of due process.'

Associated Press

Updated:September 2, 2019, 8:20 AM IST
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UN Refugee Chief Urges India to Ensure No One Left Stateless After Over 19 Lakh Excluded from Final NRC List
Villagers walk on an embankment on their way to check names in the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) at an NRC center in Pabhokati village in Morigaon district, Assam. (Image: AP)
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Berlin: The U.N.'s top refugee official urged India to ensure no one is left stateless by the exclusion of over 19 lakh people from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list in Assam.

"Any process that could leave large numbers of people without a nationality would be an enormous blow to global efforts to eradicate statelessness," Filippo Grandi, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees, said in a statement issued Sunday in Geneva.

He urged India to ensure no one ends up stateless, "including by ensuring adequate access to information, legal aid, and legal recourse in accordance with the highest standards of due process."

About 3,11,21,004 people were included in the list Assam's government released Saturday, omitting 19,06,657. The NRC list is unique to Assam, the northeastern state bordering Bangladesh.

The government has said it compiled the list to detect and deport undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh but has also clarified that those left off the final citizenship list won't be declared foreigners.

It's unclear what happens next. Those left off the list can appeal to unique tribunals, but if they lose, they could be sent to detention centers being set up by the government.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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