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NRC List leaves 40 lakh Assamese vulnerable to hardship to prove their Citizenship

The demand for updation of NRC of 1951 was proposed three decades ago by All Assam Student’s Union and Assam Gana Parishad. The move was initiated to protect interests of Assamese, and to weed out illegal immigrants from neighboring regions. The migrants who came to Assam during 1951-1961 would be given citizenship but those who came after 1971 will be deported.

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Assam CM in NRC List Release, CM Sonowal on NRC List release
Assam CM on NRC List Release

The government has issued the NRC list (second draft) in Assam today with 28,983,677 names enlisted in the record. However, on the other hand, 40.07 Lakh applications did not find a place in the list which makes it critical for them to prove their Assamese identity before the final list releases. The first draft process was released on December 31, 2017, in which 1.9 crore names were listed out of 3.9 crore of applications. The second draft register released today can be accessed at www.nrcassam.nic.in. The National Register of Citizen (NRC) is a record maintained since 1951 which contains the name of Indian citizens of Assam.

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The NRC list published today has names of all the people who were registered in census of 1951 or had their name listed in electoral polls of 1971 or are their descendants. The list is issued with their names, addresses and photographs. The final NRC draft will be published after addressing all the claims from the unapproved applicants i.e. people who claim that they have cleared all the eligibility criterion yet are not enlisted. Notably, after the final list, no claims would be entertained, and which is expected to be out by December 2018. The unpublished names are still under the stages of verification. Around 68 lakh applications by Assam residents were forwarded in May 2015 to be registered in NRC list which got released today.

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The demand for updation of NRC of 1951 was proposed three decades ago by All Assam Student’s Union and Assam Gana Parishad. The move was initiated to protect interests of Assamese, and to weed out illegal immigrants from neighboring regions. The migrants who came to Assam during 1951-1961 would be given citizenship but those who came after 1971 will be deported. Thus, it’s a challenging situation for the people who are not listed in the NRC draft as they will be signified as illegal immigrants. Though no concrete plans are yet announced by the government for these illegal immigrants, they are planned to be deported from the Indian territory. It is also not clear whether the unlisted 40 lakh people would be voting next year or not.

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The issuance of the NRC’s second draft has left behind approximately 40 lakh people unapproved citizen of Assam and India. The NRC draft release was speculated to have a strong reaction from opposition and something similar has happened. The first to react was TMC (All India Trinamool Congress) leader and West Bengal’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee. “They are turning Indian people into refugee in their own country,” said Mamata Banerjee in today’s parliament session. She also added, “This is divide-and- rule policy. People are being isolated, this will destroy humanity”. The parliament session was adjourned for a day after the NRC ruckus made it difficult for the parliament to function.

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Coming back to the NRC list, the list also encourages these unapproved 40 lakh people to file their complaint with NRC Seva Kendra. The most vulnerable people are those who failed to fill the application form for registration in NRC list in May 2015. These people will not able to file their complaint any more and will be considered as illegal immigrants as per the direction of the NRC rule. The final draft will be, as expected, out by December 2018.

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