Over 19 lakh excluded from updated NRC list

Over 19 lakh excluded from updated NRC list

People stand in a queue to check their names on the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) outside a Gaon Panchayat office in Pavakati village, Morigoan. (PTI Photo)

Over 19 lakh applicants found their names dropped from the final list of updated National Register of Citizens (NRC), released on Saturday morning.

A statement issued by NRC office here said out of the total 3,30,27,661 applicants; 19,06,657 were left out of the updated NRC following scrutiny of their documents and hearings. A total of 3,11,21,004 persons figured in the list. 

Lakhs among those who thronged the 2,500 NRC Seva Kendras across Assam or checked their names online had the shock of their lives for the second time since July 30 last year when names of over 40.07 lakh applicants were dropped from the draft NRC. 

Another 1.20 lakh applicants were excluded in June this year as re-verification of their documents found them ineligible for inclusion in the updated NRC. While hearings were conducted for another 1,87,633 applicants against whom objections were filed. 

The names of these applicants were dropped as they failed to prove with documents that they or their forefathers lived in Assam on or before March 24, 1971, the cut-off date fixed to segregate citizens from "illegal migrants" living in Assam. The cut-off date was fixed in the Assam Accord of 1985, following the six-year-long anti-foreigners movement by the majority indigenous people in Assam.

Those who missed today's final list can now appeal in the foreigner tribunals, the quasi-judicial bodies within 120-days. There are 100 such foreigner tribunals in Assam at present and the process is on to set up 400 more for disposal of the appeals. 

Those losing their legal battle in the tribunals could be declared foreigners and detained and their rights curtailed. 

Hours before the release of the final list, Chief Minister Sarbanada Sonowal appealed the applicants not to panic and assured that those left out would be provided assistance by the government to check harassment. Those left out will not be declared foreigners immediately as only Foreigner Tribunals can declare a person foreigners, he said.

The process to update the NRC began in February 2015 under the supervision of the Supreme Court. A total of 3.29 crore people submitted documents seeking inclusion of their names in the updated NRC. However, names of 2.89 crore applicants figured in the draft NRC released on July 30 last year.

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