Even a name included in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on August 31 can still be excluded anytime under certain conditions, NRC authorities said Saturday, as they published a consolidated family-wise list of applicants on their website.
More than 19 lakh people in Assam were excluded in the final NRC – of the 3,30,27,661 applicants, 3,11,21,004 made it to the list. But the ‘note’ appended to the family-wise NRC published Saturday laid out in clear terms that those included in the list may also be excluded next and that no position in the list is permanent.
“Any fact of misrepresentation of particulars/documents discovered by the authorities rendering the person ineligible will lead to exclusion/deletion of the person from NRC,” the note said.
It added, “Discovery at any point of time of a person being ineligible for inclusion in NRC on account of being a Declared Foreigner (post-1971 illegal migrant or FRRO unregistered of 1966-71 stream) or a person with a case Pending at Foreigners Tribunal or D (Doubtful) Voter or descendant of such person (as per eligibility prescribed), will lead to exclusion/deletion from NRC.”
It stated, “Receipt at any point of time of opinion by any Foreigner Tribunal declaring any person as Foreigner, will lead to exclusion/deletion from NRC.”
Government officials confirmed to The Sunday Express that it is “legally possible to send a reference to a person included in the NRC”. This point was further highlighted by Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in a detailed interview with the Assamese news channel NewsLive recently. He said that the Border Wing of the Assam police should investigate those it suspects “manipulated” legacy data for inclusion into the NRC.
Aabhijeet Sharma, president of the Assam Public Works (APW) — the original petitioners in the NRC case in the SC — said they were not happy with the NRC. “No one is happy. We want 100% re-verification. We have evidence that numerous persons who are Declared Foreigners (DFs) have already made it to the list. We will present this list to the Supreme Court soon,” he said.
“This provision for further exclusion is as per Supreme Court’s order, where it has clearly said that FT is superior to the NRC. I would not speculate on how it can play out in the coming days, let’s see what the apex court says next,” said advisor to the All Assam Minority Students’ Union (AAMSU), Azizur Rahman.
The NRC updation exercise was carried out under the monitoring of the Supreme Court but it intersected with the already existing mechanisms of citizenship determination in Assam. Thus, a person declared a foreigner by an FT (DF or marked a Doubtful Voter (DV) by election officials or a person whose case is pending at an FT (PFT) and their descendants who have drawn ‘legacy’ from such persons have been excluded from the updated NRC.
Until now, FTs dealt with cases of those against whom a reference was made by the Border Wing of the Assam Police or whom election officials detected as a D-Voter. The SC has already ruled that an FT’s order will prevail over the NRC’s decision to exclude or include a person.
The NRC’s August 31 publication was a “Supplementary Inclusions List” which provided the names of those included into the NRC after they had filed “claims” against their exclusion in the final draft published July 30 last year or excluded in the additional draft exclusions list published on June 26, 2019, or those who were in the final draft but had “objections” filed against their names or those who were included in the final draft but called for hearing from July 5, 2019, onwards.
The 19,06,657 people excluded in the final NRC will be appealing to the FTs against their exclusion. Assam already has 100 existing FTs. To meet the burden of the NRC excluded, 200 new FTs are soon to start and another 200 FTs are scheduled by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Centre has withdrawn 10,000 paramilitary personnel deployed in Assam before the publication of the final NRC, PTI reported Saturday. The decision was taken as there has been no violence in Assam since the NRC was published on August 31.