2.89 Crore Applicants Found Eligible For Assam's National Register of Citizens, 40 Lakh Not On List

| July 30 , 2018 , 14:06 IST

The final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for the state of Assam was released on Monday, according to which 2.89 crore people have been found eligible out of the total 3.29 crore applicants, the state NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela said.

A total of 40 lakh applicants have been left out of the final draft, putting into question their citizenship, however, no action has been announced against the 40 lakh not on the list. 

Hajela emphasised that the list is just a draft, and not the final list and that people who are not included can make claims and objections.

From the total 3.29 crore applicants in Assam, 1.9 crore were cleared as Indian nationals in the first round of lists released on January 1 this year. However, earlier this month, the NRC authorities reported that 1.5 lakh people would be dropped from the first list due to anomalies in their documentation.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday assured the public that if their names do not appear on the list, they can apply for it through claims and objection forms.

"People whose names do not appear in it need not worry, it has been specified by central government and Assam government that they can apply for it through Claims and objections forms," CM Sonowal said.

The National Registry of Citizens was first established in 1951 after a consensus to target illegal migration into Assam from neighbouring Bangladesh. The latest updation of the National Register of Citizens would include descendants of those whose names were in the 1951 consensus list or those who were in Assam's Electoral rolls till March 24, 1971.

In addition, descendants of those who can prove citizenship till March 24, 1971 as well as those who came to India between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971, and registered themselves with the Foreigners Registration Regional Officer would also be considered Indian citizens.

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Despite the laid down provisions, many have alleged that they were left out of the list despite submitting sufficient proof. Critics have viewed the registry update as a move to target the Muslim population in Assam on the pretext of removing Bangladeshi immigrants.

In view of possible agitation after the release of the National Register of Citizens, security has been boosted within the state and the Centre has sent in over 22,000 paramilitary troops to Assam and adjoining states as well.

The National Register of Citizens was launched with a goal of documenting the verifiable citizens of India, to crackdown on and prevent illegal immigration, especially from nearby Bangladesh. The application process was launched in May 2015 and 6.5 crore documents were received from 68.27 lakh families in the state of Assam.

Currently, Assam is the only state having an NRC as it faced an influx from Bangladesh since the early 20th century.