Assam NRC: What happens to the people left out of the final list?
Guwahati, Aug 30: After long wait and anxiety, the final list of Assam's National Register of Citizens will be out on Saturday. But, what if my name is not included in the Complete Draft NRC Assam, is what many people are wondering about now. But you need not panic.
Won't be declared a foreigner
Persons left out of the NRC will not be detained under any circumstance until foreigner's tribunals (FTs) declare it. Under the provisions of the Foreigners' Act, 1946 and Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1964, only foreigner's tribunals are empowered to declare a person foreigner. Therefore, non-inclusion of a person's name in NRC does not by itself amount to him/her being declared as a foreigner.
Approach the foreigners' tribunals
Those who do not make it to the final list will have to appear before the Foreigners' Tribunals of Assam. For the benefit of those whose names do not appear in the final NRC, appeals can be made under Section 8 of Schedule to the Citizenship Rules, 2003.
The Centre has extended the time limit for filing of appeals from 60 days to 120 days and necessary amendment in this regard has been made in the Foreigners' (Tribunals) Amendment Order, 2019.
What happens to those who lose cases at the Foreigners Tribunals?
The Central government has clarified what happens to those who lose their cases in the Foreigners' Tribunals, whether they will be detained, deported or allowed to stay on without the rights and privileges of citizenship.
History says those deemed to be foreigners have been transferred to detention centres in the state. Six overcrowded jails in Assam double up as detention centres, holding over 1,000 people in all. Last year, the state got sanction from the Centre to build the first standalone detention camp, capable of housing 3,000 people.
Foreign tribunals to be formed
Two hundred foreigners tribunals are being set up shortly for hearing the appeals filed in the designated foreigners' tribunals, which will be notified by the state government very soon.
Another 200 foreigners tribunals will be set up soon and effort is being made to establish them at convenient places so that filing and hearing of appeals are done smoothly and efficiently
What the final list may offer
Of a total of 3.29 crore applicants, more than 41 lakh people were excluded from the updated NRC via two rejection lists on July 30, 2018, and the other on June 26 this year. Some 3.6 lakh of the excluded did not reapply and there are speculations that at least 20 lakh of those who reapplied will end up in the final exclusion list.
Controversy over Assam NRC
The final NRC, unique to Assam, will be published on August 31. The previous NRC was published in the state in 1951. The process of updation of NRC is being carried out by the Registrar General of India and the entire process is under the direct monitoring of the Supreme Court.
When the draft NRC was published on July 30, 2018, there was a huge controversy over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it. The draft NRC included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applications.
In the list published in June 2019, over a lakh, more people were excluded.
The NRC exercise, aimed at identifying illegal immigrants in the state that borders Bangladesh, was carried out in Assam, which faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century.