National Register of Citizen (NRC) is a document formulated by the Government of India for the citizens of Assam. The first list was contrived in 1951 along with the Census of India, to segregate the Indian citizens in Assam. However, over the years there has been a large illegal migration of Bangladeshi and other regional population in Assam, that has led to violent ethnic clashes in the state, hampering its growth for years. With the problem of illegal immigrants infiltrating through the porous Indo-Bangladesh border and overpopulating Assam, the government decided to formulate National Register of Citizen in 2014.
Here are some key facts and latest developments that have taken place:
- The first Assam NCR list was formed in 1951, when first Census of India was conducted post-independence, to list down the Indian citizens living in Assam, while listing out the illegal immigrants that infiltrated the Indian border from then East Pakistan.
- In 2013, the Supreme Court of India ordered to carry out the updation process of NRC to the Assam government. The main concern of the apex court was to address the issue of growing illegal immigrants from the neighbouring country of Bangladesh and other regions on the basis of Citizenship Act, 1955, in accordance with Assam Accord of 1985.
- In 2014, the Government of India with the Assam government, initiated the process of listing down the illegal immigrants that have crossed the border into the state of Assam after 1971 or prior to that but do not own any official identification document of them or their ancestors prior to 1971 or 1951.
- The process continued till 2016, with the first draft of National Register of Citizen coming out on January 1, 2018, which only included the names of 1.9 crore individuals out of 3.29 crore applicants. The final draft of the NRC was released on July 30, 2018, with almost 1 crore names added taking the total to 2.89 crore, while leaving out 40.07 lakh applicants.
- For an individual to get his name included in the list of final NRC draft, the applicants had to furnish proof of his or any of his ancestors name mentioned in the electoral rolls made upto midnight March 24, 1971 or in the Legacy Data NRC collective list of 1951 NRC data. If in case, the name of his ancestor is mentioned then the person was required to furnish a proof of relation.
- The process for updating NRC was started in May 2015 and continued till August 2015. A total of 68.31 lakh applications were filled with the information of 3.29 crore applicants. On field verification was done by going house-to-house by the government officials and volunteers. The authenticity of documents were determined by the officials, while investigating family tree of the applicants to wean out any false claim, and separate procedure was followed for the married women.
- A total of 40.07 lakh applicants’ names have not been included in the Assam’s NRC list, while some 2.48 lakh applicants are on hold including the doubtful voters (D-Voters), their descendants, and applicants who have pending cases in foreign tribunal, as they were unable to prove the citizenship through the valid documents.
- The government has come out to clarify that this is the final draft but not the final list. The applicants whose names have missed out from the NRC Assam can raise objection and file claims with valid identification proof as mentioned by the government to have their plea heard till August 30. However, those who submitted application in 2015, only their cases will be considered.