The much-awaited updated Final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was released on Saturday, excluding names of 19.07 lakh applicants. The status of both inclusion and exclusion can be viewed online on the NRC website, www.nrcassam.nic.in. The final list was published at 10 am and the hard copies of the Supplementary List of Inclusions are available for public viewing at the NRC Seva Kendras (NSK), offices of the deputy commissioner and offices of the Circle Officer during office hours.
What happens to those excluded from NRC?
The government says those who do not find their names on the final list will be given the opportunity to prove their citizenship first in quasi-judicial courts - known as Foreign Tribunals (FT) - and subsequently in higher courts. Those excluded would not be considered foreigners until they exhaust all their legal options. People will get 120 days to appeal, the government announced earlier this month. Up to 200 more FTs are being planned to be set up on top of the 100 already functional.
State Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged upon the people of Assam to maintain peace and tranquillity in the state. "The NRC, which has been updated by the State NRC Coordinator and his team under the monitoring of the Supreme Court of India and supervision of the Registrar General of India, is an outcome of the untiring efforts of the thousands of people," he said in a statement. "Those people whose names have been excluded from proposed NRC, would get an opportunity to file their appeal and be heard in the Foreigners' Tribunal (FT) as per the direction of the Union Home Ministry," the Chief Minister said.
Sonowal said that the Assam government will take care of the cause of the excluded people and due care will be taken so that nobody is subjected to any "unnecessary harassment". The Chief Minister asserted a person cannot be treated as "foreigner" as long as the appellant's plea remains sub-judice with the Foreigner's Tribunal.
What exactly is the National Register of Citizens (NRC) all about?
NRC is a register containing names of Indian citizens, which was prepared for the only time in 1951. It is being updated for Assam as of now to weed out illegal immigrants. Last month, the Supreme Court had extended the deadline for the final publication of NRC from July 31 to August 31. It had rejected a plea to extend the NRC deadline for sample verification.
The final NRC list comes 13 months after the Complete Draft NRC was published on July 30 last year. Earlier, the first part of the draft NRC, called Part Draft NRC, was published in December, 2017 and incorporated the names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants. The final draft of the NRC contained 2.9 crore names out of the total of 3.29 crore applicants. The NRC, first published in Assam in 1951, is being updated as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
(Inputs from Agencies)