NRC To Be Implemented On Priority Basis, Says President; Additional NRC Draft Excluding More People To Be Out Soon
President Ram Nath Kovind, in his address to the joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on June 20, said, “My Government has decided to implement the process of ‘National Register of Citizens’ on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration.”
Further, reiterating the centre’s stance on illegal infiltration, President Kovind said, “Illegal infiltrators pose a major threat to our internal security. This is leading to a social imbalance in many parts of the country, as well as putting huge pressure on limited livelihood opportunities.”
Additional NRC Draft
The office of the National Register of Citizens is likely to put out a list on 22 June. The updated list further excludes people whose names were initially included in the draft list but later removed, according to The Economic Times.
“The additional list will have names of those persons whose names were included in the final draft published in July 30 last year, however, later during suo motu verification those people were found to be ineligible,” said an official associated with the NRC.
In the draft list, about 40.7 lakh out of the 3.29 crore people could not make it to the complete draft of the NRC that was published on July 30, 2018.
The exercise to update the NRC under the monitoring of the Supreme Court began in May 2015, and the first draft of the NRC list was released on December 31, 2017. As per the first draft, only 1.9 crore names were included in the list.
The deadline for sifting illegal migrants from genuine Indian citizens living in Assam is July 31.
All-Party Meeting On NRC
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has assured to organise an all-party meeting, well ahead of July 31, for suggestions on those to be excluded from the NRC.
The CM gave the assurance after a Communist Party of India (Marxist) delegation met him on June 19 and submitted a memorandum on major issues affecting the State.
“He assured us that all political parties and diverse groups would be called for a meeting for suggestions on those to be excluded from the NRC,” Suprakash Talukdar, CPI(M) Central Committee member said on Thursday, reported The Hindu.
The issue of Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT) declaring genuine Indian citizens as illegal migrants is likely to be discussed in the meeting. Kargil War veteran Mohammed Sanaullah, being the most recent example in the case, was sent to the Goalpara after being declared a foreigner on May 23. However, he was granted bail by the Gauhati High Court on June 7.
What is Assam NRC?
The first NRC for Assam was prepared after the 1951 census of Independent India. It recorded the particulars of those who belonged to the state. The register was compiled after collecting data from each village and indicating against each house, the names and number of people staying there.
Assam is the only state to have its own register of citizens. Assam historically has seen an influx of immigrants. Before independence, the Britishers brought in plantation workers from present-day Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In 1904, Bengal was divided into East Bengal, West Bengal and Assam.
Post the 1971 war, a large number of people migrated from East Pakistan to Assam and West Bengal. The government made several efforts to send back the illegal immigrants but failed.
In 1979, the leaders of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) started an agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants. Finally, in 1985, the Assam Accord was signed after which the agitation culminated.
Following the Accord, an amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955 under section 6(A) gave Indian citizenship to all migrants who came to Assam before the midnight of March 24, 1971. The date March 24, 1971, was decided because the Bangladesh Liberation war started on March 25, 1971.
Right now, the National Register of Citizens is being compiled for the first time after 1951 to ascertain the Indian citizenships. All the persons who were counted under the initial 1951 census and were included in electoral rolls up to 1971 or those having documental proof of migrating on or before March 24, 1971, will be extended citizenship.
Also Read: Not Able To Prove Citizenship, Kargil War Veteran Sent To Detention Camp In Assam