Around 40 lakh people in Assam are out of the final draft of the National Register of Citizens or the NRC, which was updated for the first time since 1951 to keep away illegal migrants from Bangladesh. Of the 3.29 crore people who had applied for their names to be included, 2.89 crore have made into the citizen’s list.
This has caused a lot of worry for fear of being deported. Security has been beefed up in Assam, with additional forces deployed to prevent unrest or clashes.
Officials however insisted that this was only a draft and those left out would get a chance to appeal. The process of taking up claims and objections from those left out of the citizen’s list will start from August 30.
Despite the government assurances, fear lurks still. The move is being seen as an attempt to target the Muslim population in Assam on the pretext of ridding the state of Bangladeshi migrants.
Satyendra Garg, home ministry officer in charge of the Northeast, was quoted by NDTV as saying: “Based on this draft no reference case will be sent to foreigner tribunal or put in a detention centre.”
The main criterion for inclusion in the NRC will be those who are able to prove that they were living in Assam on or before March 21, 1971. It also includes names of those in the 1951 list and their descendants and under several other categories specified by the government.