With less than 24 hours left for the publication of the final list of National Register of Citizens (NRC), Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on August 30th, 2019, said the NRC is not the legal document to identify the indigenous people. The Assam Minister also added that the state and Centre have chalked out other plans to carry the process.
Speaking to media persons, Sarma said, “If the bonafide citizens do not find their names in the final NRC list, they needn’t be worried as they have the option to reach out, Foreigners Tribunals (FTs). We are ready to provide legal aid to the needy persons and it’s not a document to identify one’s nationality.”
“The right to identify one’s nationality is only in the hands of FTs and we should avoid making any statements that will hurt the sentiments of bonafide citizens of the state. We are just waiting for the publication of the final list and after that, we will discuss matters related to those people who will be left out of it,” added Himanta.
It may be mentioned, the final NRC will be published on August 31st, 2019 and the status of all NRC applicants will be available online from September 7th, 2019.
The Minister further added that peace should not be disturbed pre and post-publication of NRC and appealed the citizens not to panic.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also said that non-inclusion of a person’s name from the final NRC does not make him/her a foreigner. The ministry also appealed to citizens to not believe in rumours about NRC.
Meanwhile, the Assam police have made adequate security arrangements to maintain law and order before and after the publication of the final NRC.
On the midnight of December 31st, 2017, a partial draft of the NRC was released and subsequently on July 30th, 2018, the complete draft NRC was released. A total of 2,89,83,677 persons were found eligible out of 3,29,91,384 applicants in the final draft of the NRC. The NRC authorities on June 26th, 2019 published an additional draft exclusion list consisting of 1,02,462 persons.