40 lakh residents left out of Assam’s updated citizens register

Guwahati: The names of around 40 lakh of 3.29 crore applicants were missing from Assam’s updated National Register of Citizens(NRC) released on Monday.

The state’s National Register of Citizens or NRC has been mandated for the first time since 1951 on Supreme Court’s orders, to account for illegal migration from neighbouring Bangladesh.

As per reports, the claims and objections of the applicants left out of the final draft list will be taken up from August 30 to September 28. The officers reportedly said that no one would be deported or arrested on the basis of this list as it is only a draft. They added that the final draft will be published later but there is no deadline set for the process till now.

“Based on this draft no reference case will be sent to the foreigner tribunal or put in a detention centre,” home ministry officer, Satyendra Garg was quoted as saying by HT.

However, it is possible that the people who are not mentioned in the list might end up in detention centre or face other inconveniences such as – losing domicile or getting work permits without land and political rights.

Among the 3.29 crore applicants, 2.89 crore have been found eligible and their names have been included as Indian citizens in the list released around 10 am on Monday.

To avoid any unrest over the new draft list, central forces have been deployed in the state, which has been divided into zones and is being monitored by top cops. The security forces are also keeping a tab on social media to check spread of any hate messages, a senior police officer said. Neighbouring states Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have also beefed up security along their borders fearing an influx from Assam.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh also reassured people in Assam that it is not a final list and the report is “completely impartial”. He added that some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear, and stressed on the point that misinformation should not be spread.

Dispelling fears of confinement, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said no one would be sent to any detention camp over the final draft. He, however, asked people to refrain from making “inflammatory” remarks.

The government would not tolerate any “communal remarks” on the NRC and people must work jointly to thwart all “evil designs of divisive forces”, he added.

The NRC is an exercise which was first carried out in 1951 to enumerate the citizens, their houses and holdings. The list was updated to weed out illegal immigrants as per a provision of the Assam Accord signed in 1985 after a six-year agitation against Bangladeshis.