Citizenship test for those included in NRC not over yet

The NRC, which was updated with March 24, 1971, as cut-off date left out 9,06, 657 of total 3.30 lakh applicants.

The NRC was not the last test of citizenship in Assam even for those who have been included in the updated list released on August 31.

"We have the NRC but the government has not yet withdrawn the power of the state border police, which empowers them to summon anyone who is suspected to be a foreigner. I hope that it will continue against those who managed to get into the NRC by manipulating legacy data or other documents," Assam cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Monday in an interview to a local news channel.

"By applying the same power, the border police has already referred nearly four lakh cases to foreigner tribunals," he said.

Soon after the updated NRC was released on August 31, Sarma alleged that many applicants (Bengali speaking Muslims) managed to include their names by manipulating pre-1971 legacy data and link documents like birth certificates. He also claimed that a large number of Hindu Bengalis were left out as the NRC authorities refused to accept the refugee certificates issued before 1971 even as that was one of the approved documents for inclusion in the NRC.

The NRC, which was updated with March 24, 1971, as cut-off date left out 9,06, 657 of total 3.30 lakh applicants.

According to lawyers here, paragraph 2A of the Foreigner (Tribunals) Order of 1964 allows the police to refer a person to a tribunal to determine whether he is a foreigner. The onus to prove Indian citizenship, however, falls on the person in question. There has been an allegation of misuse of this provision in 1964 order to harass innocent citizens.

Many, however, expected that the same would come to an end after publication of the final NRC, which is aimed at segregating citizens from foreigners illegally living in Assam.

 
 
 
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