Names on Assam NRC draft list to be under scrutiny again

The 'Additional Exclusion List' will have names of those who figured in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018, but were 'subsequently found ineligible for inclusion'

By The Telegraph in New Delhi
  • Published 24.06.19, 3:02 PM
  • Updated 24.06.19, 3:02 PM
  • 2 mins read
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Residents lining up for checking the final draft of NRC (National Register of Citizens) in Tengabasti, Tezpur. Telegraph file picture

People who have been included in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) list cannot rest assured of their citizenship status. 

A new notification by the NRC state coordinator's office, posted on their social media page on Thursday, says about an “Additional List to Draft NRC” would be published on June 26.

The "Additional Exclusion List", as it is being called in the notification, will have names of those who figured in the draft NRC published on July 30, 2018, but were “subsequently found ineligible of inclusion”.

“Let's assume that three families used the same document in their NRC application. Say, of the three brothers using the same parent’s legacy document, two get through to the list and one doesn’t make it to the draft list. Now this one brother filed for a claim,” said Abdul Batin Khandakar, an activist based in Guwahati. “The investigators going through claims wonder how did the other two brothers make it to the list when one of them didn’t. The two names will now come in this exclusion list.”

Thursday's notification said that those in the exclusion list will be informed individually through letters to their addresses. They’ll be given an opportunity to file their claims before July 11, two weeks before the final publication of the NRC.

The NRC daft list is linked to Assam’s elaborate process of weeding out foreign nationals which started in 2014. Midnight of March 24, 1971, is the cut-off date based on which residents of Assam have to prove their nationality and get their name included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) by submitting specific documents as proof.

The latest step by the NRC state coordinator is based on the Citizenship Rules, 2003, under the Citizenship Act, 1955.

In the rules, Section 4A details the special provisions as to National Register of Indian Citizens in the State of Assam. In the schedule 4(3) appended to this rule, it says: “The local registrar of citizen registration may at any time before the final publication of the National Register of Indian Citizens in the State of Assam cause or direct to cause verification of names of such persons considered necessary.”

Using this section as a springboard, Thursday's notification mentions that a verification was carried out and includes people made ineligible if they were doubtful voters, declared foreigners, and/or those with pending cases in the foreigners' tribunals and their descendants. It’ll also have those found ineligible during hearings for disposal of claims and objections.

On April 10, the Supreme Court had approved the “additional Draft Exclusion List(s) under Clause 5 of the Schedule” of the Citizenship Rules, 2003.