NRC Draft : 40 Lakh People To Face Deportation From Assam ?

The second and the final draft of National Register of  Citizens (NRC)  in Assam was released today and the names  of 40.07 lakh people have been left out from the list. Out of  3.29 crore people, a total of 2.89 crore have been found eligible and are included in the NRC. However, this is is just a draft and not a final list.

What is NRC ?

National Register of Citizens is a record of all legal citizens of a state. The first list of NRC was created way back in 1951. During the anti-illegal foreigners’ movement in Assam in 1980, demands were raised by The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Assam Gana Parishad to update the list. The move was aimed at protecting the indigenous culture of Assam from illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Dr. Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting to review the implementation of the Assam Accord  in 2005 and a decision to update the NRC was taken.

In 2010 the project of updating the NRC in Barpeta and Chaygaon  was called off after violent protest in Barpeta town in which four persons were killed and over several others injured.

In 2015 applications were invited . Around 3.29 crore people of Assam had applied for inclusion of their names and around 6.6 crore documents were submitted by the applicants.

Current Scenario :

In a conference in Guwahati, Registrar General Sailesh said adequate opportunity would be given to those whose names are not included in the final draft to prove their citizenship. “This is a historic day for India and Assam. The exercise is unparalleled in size. It is a legal process done under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court. The process has been completely transparent, fair, objective and meticulously carried out,” he said.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said that those who have not been included in the list can approach the foreign tribunal and some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear but there is no need to panic.

“The process for making claims and objections will begin on August 30 and continue till September 28. Adequate and ample scope will be given to people for making objections. No genuine Indian citizen should have any fear,”Registrar General said.

If the people left out from the NRC aren’t able to prove their citizenship they are likely to face deportation. The state’s National Register of Citizens or NRC has been updated for the first time since 1951 to account for illegal migration from neighbouring Bangladesh. The recount is seen as a move to target Assam’s Muslim population on the pretext of removing out Bangladeshi migrants from the state.

The list has been updated to include descendants of those in the state in 1951 (when the first census took place )-or those who were in Assam’s electoral rolls as of March 24, 1971. The descendants of those who can prove citizenship till March 24, 1971, will also be considered Indian citizens.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee have raised significant questions over the NRC draft. “There were people who have Aaadhar cards and passports but still their names are not in the draft list. Names of people were removed on the basis of surnames also. Is the Govt trying to do forceful eviction?” she asked. She said that West Bengal will have to suffer from this decision. She also asked the central government whether they have any rehabilitation program for the people who haven’t been included in the list.

The first draft was published on December 31, 2017, and the names of 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated.