On Monday, Assam released the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), seven months after it released the first draft on 1 January 2018, which included 1.9 crore names out of a total applicant pool of 3.29 crore. Monday’s list however, left our 40.07 lakh people wherein 2.89 crore people were found eligible out of 3.29 crore applicants.
What is the NRC?
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is the list of Indian citizens of Assam. It was prepared in 1951, following the census of 1951. For a person’s name to be included in the updated NRC list of 2018, he/ she will have to furnish:
■ Existence of name in the legacy data: The legacy data is the collective list of the NRC data of 1951 and the electoral rolls up to midnight of 24 March 1971.
■ Proving linkage with the person whose name appears in the legacy data.
How did NRC verification begin in Assam?
The process of NRC update was taken up in Assam as per a Supreme Court order in 2013. In order to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, NRC updation was carried out under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord.
How is verification carried out?
The updating process started in May 2015 and ended on 31 August 2015. A total of 3.29 crore people applied through 68.31 lakh applications. The process of verification involved house-to-house field verification, determination of authenticity of documents, family tree investigations in order to rule out bogus claims of parenthood and linkages and separate hearings for married women.
Who all have been left out?
Out of the 40.07 lakh applicants who have been left out of the final draft NRC released, on Monday, 2.48 lakh applicants have been kept on hold including the D-Voters (doubtful voters who have been disenfranchised on account of failure to prove citizenship), descendants of D-voters and persons whose cases are pending before the foreigners tribunal. The state however, has not revealed the reason for keeping others on hold.
The process of filing claims and objections will start on 30 August, during which people whose names have been left out of the NRC Assam, can once again appeal to have their case reconsidered. Those left out are not yet being labelled as “foreigners" or being sent to detention centres. However, only those applicants who had submitted their applications in 2015 will be considered.