Assam NRC Issue: Reason and Future Aspect
Date: 30 July 2018
What is the history of the NRC in Assam?
The National Register of Citizens was first published in 1951 and included all names that had appeared on the first Census. The draft became a hot-button issue after the movement to identify Bangladeshi immigrants who had come to Assam. The movement was led by the All Assam Students Union and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad. The Assam Accords of 1985 has language that permits deletion of names from electoral rolls of illegal immigrants. However, it does not mandate it. The Supreme Court issued a directive to update the NRC rolls in 2014. All voters who had arrived in Assam before 24 December 1971 are eligible to be included on the list. All descendants of said migrants will also be included on the list.
What is the most recent NRC draft?
The second draft of NRC was published on 30 July, 2018. This was the draft that came after the first list was published on 1 January 2018. The draft caused significant controversy because the names of about 40 lakh people did not appear in the list. This has invited significant criticism of the government from West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. Also, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has lashed out at the Centre for playing the politics of vote bank.
What is the next step for the NRC?
People who have been left out of the NRC can appeal to NRC Seva Kendras from 30 August to 28 September. Reasons for their exclusion from the list can also be found out from 7 August. Individual hearings are set to happen for each claim before the final draft of the NRC is published.
What about people excluded from the NRC?
The people who have been excluded from the third and final draft of the NRC can appeal to the Foreigners’ Tribunal. They can also approach the Supreme Court.
Some Quick Facts:
- The Assam movement culminated with the Assam Accords that were signed on 15 August 1985.
- The accords were signed by Prafulla Kumara Mahanta(AASU), Bhrigu Kumar Phukan(AASU) and Biraj Sharma(AAGSP). The agreement was signed by Rajiv Gandhi and representatives of Indian and Assam governments.