What Next for More Than 19 Lakh Who Didn’t Make It to the NRC List
With the final Assam National Register of Citizens (NRC) list published on Saturday, 31 August, and excluding 19,06,657 people (more than 19 lakh), the question now is what will happen to them in the coming weeks and months.
The Home Ministry (MHA) has categorically stated that non-inclusion of a person’s name in NRC does not amount to his/her being declared a foreigner. Moreover, every individual left out from the final list can appeal to the foreigners tribunals, with the time limit for filing appeals increased from 60 to 120 days.
“As long as the appellant’s plea remains sub-judice with the foreigners tribunal, he or she cannot be treated as a foreigner,” Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal reportedly said.
The MHA has also said that an increased number of these tribunals are being established at convenient locations. According to reports, at least 1,000 of these are supposed to be established in phases, out of which 100 have already been set up and 200 more will be added in the first week of September.
A notice signed by Kumar Sanjay Krishna, Additional Chief Secretary, Home and Political Department, Assam government, said, “Persons left out of the final NRC will not be detained under any circumstances till foreigners tribunals declare their decisions.”
The Assam government is also supposed to provide free legal aid to the “needy people” excluded from the NRC through the District Legal Services Authorities.
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