Assam NRC final list published; opposition fears many Indian citizens left out

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

ANI Guwahati/New Delhi Aug 31, 2019, 11.25 PM (IST)

The final list of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was published on Saturday with 19 lakh people not included in it as opposition parties said it has raised fears that a large number of Indian citizens have been excluded.

Prateek Hajela, the State Coordinator of NRC, said that over three crore people were found eligible for inclusion in the final NRC.

"A total of 3,11,21,004 persons are found eligible for inclusion in final NRC, leaving out 19,06,657 persons, including those who did not submit their claims," Hajela said in a statement.

He said those who are not satisfied with the outcome of the claims can appeal before the Foreigners Tribunals.

The list is aimed at segregating Indian citizens living in Assam from those who had illegally entered the state from Bangladesh after 1971.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi chaired a high-level meeting with senior party colleagues here on Saturday to discuss the NRC issue so that genuine citizens were not left out.

Party MP from Assam Gaurav Gogoi alleged that every section of Assam "is unhappy" with the status of NRC.

"Even BJP ministers are complaining. (There has been) careless implementation due to which many genuine Indian citizens will have to face the courts. Congress will provide all help. Nation above politics is our motto," he said.

Party leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that all genuine citizens must be protected and included in the NRC list.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav complimented officials for publication of the final list of NRC and stated that the Assam government is taking steps to maintain law and order in the state.

"National Register of Citizens (NRC) finally published. Compliments to the official team. Details like the list of the 19 lac names excluded etc are still awaited. Sonowal Govt in Assam is taking all steps to maintain L&O," he said in a tweet.

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, however, said that the number of people excluded from the NRC should have been higher.

"There should have been a little more (exclusion) as we had evidence of legacy data manipulation. We thought re-verification will be ordered. But it didn't happen. I think the number is a bit conservative. It should have been more," he told ANI in Guwahati.

The 1951 NRC and the electoral rolls up to March 24, 1971, are collectively called as the legacy data.

He said that the ruling BJP will now approach the Supreme Court again for "re-verification" of the citizenship in the districts bordering Bangladesh.

The CPI-M politburo said in a statement that publication of the final list of NRC has raised legitimate fears that a large number of Indian citizens have been excluded.

The politburo said it is important to ensure that all Indian citizens, who have not found a place in the list, are included.

"Till their appeals are heard and the process is completed, the status quo should be maintained with regard to their existing rights and facilities," it said.

Noting that those excluded can apply to the designated Foreigners Tribunals within 120 days for their cases to be heard, the party said the right to appeal should be processed through a judicial mechanism. 

Story highlights

The list is aimed at segregating Indian citizens living in Assam from those who had illegally entered the state from Bangladesh after 1971.