A woman carrying her son checks to see if her name is on Assam's National Register of Citizens. Photograph:( Reuters )
Assam will release the second and final draft of its National Register of Citizens tomorrow at noon.
If the name of a resident of the state is on the list, then he or she is a citizen of Assam and therefore India if not, then he or she will have to prove his or her citizenship.
The Supreme Court-mandated NRC is part of Assam's efforts to identify Bangladeshi citizens living in Assam. The northeast state has had a long history of migration from neighbouring Bangladesh where the pressure of population forces people to migrate out of the country in search for a living.
Assam's National Register of Citizens: An explainer
The NRC's first list was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1. It carried 1.9 crore names out of a total of 3.29 crore residents. That means some 1.4 crore people will find out tomorrow if they are on the list or not.
The NRC uses March 25, 1971 as its cut-off date. If an Assamese resident has been living in the state since before then, he is considered a citizen.
The draft will be published at all NRC Sewa Kendras (NSK) across the state and applicants can check their names in the list which will include the applicant's name, address and photographs, PTI quoted NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela as saying.
Hajela has pointed out that there will be enough scope for claims by people whose names do not appear in the draft and "genuine citizens should not panic if their names fail to figure in the document."
If a person's name does not appear in the draft then he or she will have to apply in prescribed forms in their respective Sewa Kendras and these forms will be available from August 7 to September 28 and the authorities will inform them about the reasons for their names being left out.
The next step will be to file the claim in another prescribed form which will be available from August 30 to September 28 next and these claims will be finally disposed of after proper hearing.
The state government meanwhile has beefed up security.
PTI reported a senior police official as saying district deputy commissioners and superintendents of police have been directed to maintain strict vigil.
PTI added that vulnerable areas have been identified in their district by superintendents of police and that the situation is being closely monitored to prevent any untoward incident, especially those arising from rumour-mongering.
The Centre meanwhile has despatched 220 companies of central armed police forces to buttress security.
And Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal held a high-level meeting recently on the NRC draft release and directed officers to remain alert and to help and explain the process of claims and objections to people whose names do not appear in the draft.
(With inputs from PTI)