Prateek Hajela, the State Coordinator of the NRC, told the media that those not satisfied with the outcome can file an appeal before Foreigners' Tribunals.

Final NRC list in Assam published over 19 lakh people left outPTI (File image)
news NRC Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 11:12

The final list of the National Register of Citizens in Assam was published on Saturday and over 3 crore people have been found eligible for inclusion in the final NRC while over 19 lakh people, including those who did not submit their claims, have been left out.

“Taking into account all the persons already included and after disposal of all claims and objections...it has been found that a total of 3,11,21,004 numbers of persons are found eligible for inclusion in the final NRC, leaving out 19,06,657 numbers of persons, including those who did not submit claims,” an official release by the government said. 

Prateek Hajela, the State Coordinator of the NRC, told the media that those not satisfied with the outcome can file appeal before Foreigners' Tribunals.

“From 10 am of today (31 August 2019) onward, the hard copies of the Supplementary List of Inclusions will be available for public view at NRC Seva Kendras (NSK), offices of the Deputy Commissioner and offices of the Circle Officer during office hours. The status of both inclusion and exclusion can be viewed online in the NRC website (www.nrcassam.nic.in),” the release added. 

The NRC has immense significance for the people of Assam as the state witnessed a six-year-long movement between 1979 to 1985 seeking detection and deportation of foreigners. The process of updation of NRC is being carried out by the Registrar General of India, and is being monitored by the Supreme Court. 

The draft NRC, which was published last year, excluded names of over 40 lakh people from the document due to some discrepancies in their documents. Over 36 lakh of them applied afresh to get their names included in the final NRC. 

The government has assured that the people left out of the final NRC will not be detained and they can appeal against their exclusion in the Foreigners' Tribunals (FT) and subsequently move higher courts. The Assam government will establish 400 Foreigners' Tribunals in the state to deal with such appeals.

The process

The process of NRC update was started in the state of Assam as per order of the Supreme Court of India in 2013. Since then, the apex court has been closely monitoring the entire process. The process of receipt of NRC application forms started during the end of May 2015 and ended on 31 August 2015. 

A total of 3,30,27,661 members applied through 68,37,660 applications. The particulars submitted by the applicants were taken up for scrutiny to determine the eligibility of their inclusion in NRC. 

Following the orders of the Supreme Court, the draft NRC was published on 30 July 2018, where 2,89,83,677 numbers of persons were found eligible for inclusion. Claims were also received from 36,26,630 numbers of persons against exclusions. A verification was carried out of persons included in the draft NRC. Objections were received against inclusion 1,07,633 people whose names had appeared in the complete draft and another additional draft exclusions list was pushed on 28 June, 2019 wherein 1,02,462 persons were excluded. 

The criticism

After the list was released on Saturday, Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma sought a fresh reverification of the final published NRC list. He claimed that the names of many Indian citizens who migrated from Bangladesh as refugees prior to 1971 have not been included in the NRC because authorities refused to accept refugee certificates. 

“Many names got included because of manipulation of legacy data as alleged by many I reiterate that as requested by Central and State governments at least 20% reverification (bordering districts) and 10% re-verification(remaining districts) should be allowed by Honble Apex court for a correct and fair NRC,” he tweeted. 

The process of drafting the names for the NRC has been questioned since there have been instances where some members of a family featured in the draft list while the others did not. Earlier this year, Kargil War veteran Mohammad Sanaullah was detained by the border wing of the Assam Police last month after a Foreigners' Tribunal in Assam declared him a "foreigner" and sent him to a detention camp in Goalpara district in Western Assam. He was later freed after the soldier moved court. 

The exercise has also been criticised over objections from third-party persons – people who featured in the 2018 list had to submit their documents again after unknown persons filed their objections over their inclusion. There have also been reports that several people who were submitting their documents faced harassment. Opposition leaders have also alleged that a majority of the names that have been excluded are Muslims and accused the BJP government of targeting the Muslim community under the garb of the NRC.

The Congress had also claimed that around 44 people killed themselves in Assam after not finding their names in the draft NRC published by the Assam government last year. 

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