The final draft of the National Register of Citizens sent shock waves across Assam and it’s neighboring states like West Bengal as about 40 lakh applicants did not find a place in the document, considered as a proof of Indian identity.
The maiden document of the NRC or the first list, incorporating 1.9 crore names, was divulged on January 1, 2018.
“This process, to forcefully evict people who are in the country for the last two or three generations has been done to instigate people so as to decide who votes for whom. This is an attempt to create more number of refugees to create a disturbance. People of West Bengal and Bangladesh will suffer the most as we share our borders with Assam in Alipurduar and Cooch Behar. They may get pushed to Bangladesh as well and that should also concern Bangladesh,” said West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Banerjee added, “This is sad as Bengali, Bihari, Hindu, Muslims will be affected and we cannot do this kind of politics to identify people from other states and push them back.”The WB chief minister addressed a hurried press conference in which she also threatened to sent a parliamentary team to Assam if needed.
Many north-eastern states have deployed security forces along their border to avoid infiltration of immigrants in the wake of the NRC list.
Now let’s take a look on what is NRC?
The National Register of Citizens, or NRC, is the list of Indian citizens in Assam. The NRC Updation of 2014–2016 across Assam includes the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC list of 1951, or in any of the electoral rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to the midnight of 24 March 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam on or before 24 March 1971. The NRC (1951) and the electoral rolls up to the midnight of 24 March 1971 together are collectively called Legacy Data.
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For inclusion in the updated NRC, there are two requirements; the existence of a person’s name in legacy data or any one of the admissible documents issued up to midnight of 24 March 1971 and proving linkage with that person. Application forms (family-wise) were to be submitted for getting names included in the updated NRC. These application forms will be verified and based on the results of verification of particulars submitted; the updated NRC will be prepared.
Eligibility criteria for inclusion in NRC
- Persons included in the 1951 census
- Persons on the Electoral Rolls up to midnight 24 March 1971
- Descendants of the above-mentioned persons
- Persons who came to Assam on or after 1 January 1966 but before 25 March 1971 and registered themselves in accordance to the rules made by the Central Government with the Foreigners Registration Regional Officer (FRRO) and those who have not been declared as illegal migrants or foreigners by the authority
- ‘D’ voters can apply to be included if the appropriate Foreigner Tribunal declares them as non-foreigners
- Persons who can provide any one of the documents issued up to midnight of 24 March 1971 as mentioned in the list of documents admissible for citizenship.
The updating process started in May 2015 and ended on 31 August 2015. A total of 3.29 crore people applied through 68.31 lakh applications. The process of verification involved house-to-house field verification, determination of authenticity of documents, family tree investigations in order to rule out bogus claims of parenthood and linkages and separate hearings for married women. Only those applicants who had submitted their applications in 2015 will be considered.
The final draft of the NRC can be accessed at nrc.assam.in.