West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday said the entire National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam has exposed those who tried to take political mileage out of it. She added that the people behind the NRC have a lot to answer to the nation. The updated final NRC, which validates bonafide Indian citizens of Assam, was released on Saturday, with the authority conducting the exercise shutting out the citizenship claims of over 19 lakh applicants who now face an uncertain future.
A total of 3,30,27,661 people had applied to be included in the NRC. Of them, 3,11,21,004 have been included in the document and 19,06,657 excluded, a statement from the NRC State Coordinator's office said.
Taking to Twitter, Mamata Banerjee said, "The NRC fiasco has exposed all those who tried to take political mileage out of it. They have a lot to answer to the nation."
The NRC fiasco has exposed all those who tried to take political mileage out of it. They have a lot to answer to the nation.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 31, 2019
This is what happens when an act is guided by an ulterior motive rather than the good of the society and the larger interest of the nation.(1/2)
She further said that the NRC fiasco happens when an act is "guided by an ulterior motive rather than the good of the society and the larger interest of the nation".
Terming the Assam NRC as a "botched-up process", Mamata Banerjee said, "My heart goes out to all those, especially the large number of Bengali speaking brothers and sisters, who are made to suffer."
Those who have been excluded from the National Register of Citizens have 120 days to appeal against it at Foreigners Tribunals. If not satisfied with the verdict of the tribunals, they will have the option to move the High Court and the Supreme Court for redress.
In order to assuage the fears of those who could be excluded from the final list, the Assam government has already ruled out their detention "in any circumstances" till the time Foreigners Tribunals declare them foreigners.
The final list was published at 10 am and the hard copies of the Supplementary List of Inclusions are available for public viewing at the NRC Seva Kendras (NSK), offices of the deputy commissioner and offices of the Circle Officer during office hours, a statement by the NRC authority said.
Surprisingly enough, parties across the political divide called the final NRC faulty, with some saying they would appeal against it in the Supreme Court.
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the convener of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the NDA's version in the northeast, deplored that many people who came to India as refugees before 1971 were not included in the final citizenship roll.
He demanded that the Supreme Court allow reverification of at least 20 per cent of samples included in the list in districts bordering Bangladesh and 10 per cent in the rest of Assam.
"Names of many Indian citizens who migrated from Bangladesh as refugees prior to 1971 have not been included in the NRC because authorities refused to accept refugee certificates. Many names got included because of manipulation of legacy data as alleged by many," he tweeted.
Thrice chief minister of Assam Tarun Gogoi of the Congress said the Centre had failed in its duty to come up with a flawless NRC and that the people of Assam were feeling "helpless".
"The way the NRC was prepared casually, illegal immigrants have been included in the list and genuine Indians excluded. It is the responsibility of the Government of India. We feel helpless.
"The NRC has left 19 lakh people in a precarious situation. They are neither the citizens of India nor are they
foreigners...they are neither here nor there. The NRC doesn't come in the way of detecting foreigners. The government must do its duty," he said.