Weighing in on the Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Monday appealed to the government to ensure that those excluded from the final list were protected from “statelessness”.
Addressing the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council Meeting in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also said the NRC verification process in Assam had caused great uncertainty and anxiety.
“The recent National Register of Citizens verification process in the northeast Indian state of Assam has caused great uncertainty and anxiety, with some 1.9 million people excluded from the final list published on Aug 31,” Bachelet said.
She also requested the Narendra Modi government to ensure due process during the appeals process. “I appeal to the Government to ensure due process during the appeals process, prevent deportation or detention, and ensure people are protected from statelessness,” she said.
A total of 3,30,27,661 people had applied to be included in the NRC. Of them, 3,11,21,004 have been included in the list and 19,06,657 excluded. Parties across the political divide have called the final NRC faulty.
The government has set a 120-day deadline for those excluded from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) list to appeal before the Foreigners’ Tribunal.
Besides, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also expressed concern over the actions by New Delhi in Jammu and Kashmir ever since the abrogation of Article 370 last month. “I have appealed particularly to India to ease the current lockdowns or curfews; to ensure people’s access to basic services; and that all due process rights are respected for those who have been detained,” she said.