As Assam holds its breath ahead of the final NRC list, which will be published at 10 am today, stringent security measures have been put in place to thwart any untoward incident. The Supreme Court-monitored NRC update exercise published first draft in July last year. It should be noted that the final list, which will be published tomorrow, can be termed as the supplementary list of the draft published in July last year. The 2019 list will contain the exact status of the people left out in the 2018 draft.
In the complete draft of the NRC, which was published in July last year, names of 40,07,707 people were excluded. It had which contained names of 2,89,83,677 eligible persons out of a total 3,29,91,384 applicants. Names of additional 1,02,462 persons were included in the list of excluded persons in June this year taking the total ineligible persons to 41,10,169 in the complete draft.
Though there have been some buzz over such an exercise across the country, at present, Assam is the only state that is carrying out the NRC policy. The citizens’ register was last updated in 1951. Assam had faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th Century.
Meanwhile, around 200 additional foreigners tribunals will be operational in Assam from Monday where bona fide citizens, whose names do not figure in the final NRC, can approach to challenge their exclusion. These tribunals are being set up by the Assam government with the Centre's assistance. "As of now, 100 foreigners tribunals are functioning. From September 1, a total of 200 additional foreigners tribunals will start functioning across Assam," a senior Home Ministry official said. There are reports that the leaders of the ruling BJP are in tension over likely exclusion of a large number of Hindus in the final NRC list.
"As long as an appeal is there, no one will be treated as foreigners. Because the authority to declare a person foreigner lies only with the foreigners' tribunal," Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said.