19 Lakh people hang on frail ropes as NRC rejection slips are yet to be published.

19 Lakh people hang on frail ropes as NRC rejection slips are yet to be published.

The State NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma said, “Rejection slips cannot be issued until COVID-19 is brought under control. Many NRC officers are on COVID-19 duty and there are very few to do quality check.” This also strikes the possibility of the slips being issued online.

After a whole year of the official publication of the complete National register of Citizens (NRC), the future of many seems twisted. Lakhs of individuals in Assam are left hanging on frail ropes as their names were excluded from the register.

The complete draft of NRC released in July, 2018 had excluded approximately 40 lakh applicants. An another list declared in June 2019, excluded an additional 100,000 more people raising the total number to 41 lakhs. The final list released on August 31 2019 had included the names of 22 lakh applicants missing from the two earlier lists. This leads to least 19 lakh individuals uncomfortably stuck between the crisis.

Due the current COVID-19 pandemic and the recent Assam floods, A significant delay is seen in the publications of the rejection slips and the excluded people. The rejection slip would also state the reasons as to why the said individuals were excluded from the register.

The State NRC coordinator Hitesh Dev Sarma said, “Rejection slips cannot be issued until COVID-19 is brought under control. Many NRC officers are on COVID-19 duty and there are very few to do quality check.” This also strikes the possibility of the slips being issued online.

Looking back onto the History of NRC, it was initially only enforced for Assam in the year 1951 on grounds of the census data of the every year. The updating of list began in 2015. This was done with respect to the the Instructions given by the Supreme Court which did it due to many petitions asking for the detection of illegal immigrants, particularly Bangladesh.

The demand for identification of illegal immigrants, erasing them their names from voter lists and deporting them back began in 1979. After the All Assam Students Union (AASU), led the 6-year movement against illegal immigration. The crusading ended with signing of the Assam Accord in 1985. March 24, 1971 was decided as the final date for entry of foreigners into Assam.

According to The Hindu, quoted, “The updated list was to include names of all those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the 1951 NRC, or in any of the electoral rolls up to the midnight of March 24, 1971- when the liberation war for Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan began. Names of foreigners found residing in Assam illegally after that date, were to be excluded from the updated list.

It was clarified that those left out of the final NRC won’t be declared foreigners. They would have the option of filing appeals within 120 days in FTs which will decide their citizenship status based on provisions of Foreigners Act, 1946, and Foreigner (Tribunals) Order, 1964.” (Source: HindustanTimes)

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