With the National Register of Citizens (NRC) final draft out on 30th July after months of anticipation, the publication of the document was received with much excitement and frenzy. But even as euphoria ran high among the populace as they became witness to a new era in the state’s history, there understandably was also the apprehension and fear related to exclusion from the same.
The apprehensions were not unfounded either, with nearly 40 lakh applications not finding a place in the final draft list. And while it has been reiterated time and again by the higher authorities that no genuine citizens will be left out from the final NRC, the ground reality seems far from all such claims.
However, there is no reason for genuine Indian residents to panic even if they could not find their name in this final list released recently. With every provision to file against any anomalies detected in the final draft already been put in place, there is no need for panic and angst among people.
The people whose names are not included in the final list have the legal right to reapply for inclusion by filing a claim. The following presents a round up of the process to register for any claims and objections against incorrect or non inclusion of your name in the final draft.
1. Claims against non inclusion will have to be made-
- through forms in the prescribed format as specified by the authorities.
- between August 30, 2018 to 28 September, 2018.
- at the NRC Seva Kendras (NSK) where the claimant had already submitted the application.
2. Claims against incorrect names or particulars will also have to be made through prescribed forms downloadable from the official websites.
3. Claims sought to be filed inquiring about the reasons for non inclusion in the draft, will have to be made-
- through forms in the prescribed format.
- from August 7, 2018 to September 28, 2018.
- to the local registrar.
After filing of claims and objections, work will begin on the final NRC document which will be published after all modifications. As of now, there is no reason to panic for the general public as all steps are being taken to ensure that all those who are original inhabitants of the country will find their name in the final NRC.
All forms related to redressal of grievances and claims will be available at the NRC seva kendras and also in the official website.
But even if there is someone who is not satisfied with the NRC updation process or with the outcome even after the filing of claims, they can file appeal before the Foreigners’ Tribunals.
And while it would be convenient to believe that those at the helm of affairs would possibly go unaffected by this daunting task, this does not turn out to be necessarily true. There have been quite a few prominent personalities whose names have not featured in the final draft released on Monday.
Prominent personalities from the Barak Valley whose names are missing from the draft include Archana Paul, the wife of BJP MLA from Cachar Dilip Paul, and former Congress legislator Ataur Rahman Mazarbhuiya.
The names of AIUDF’s Cachar unit president Samimul Islam and his family members also do not figure in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Apart from them, former Indian President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed’s nephew also fails to find mention in the final draft. The names of Ziauddin Ali Ahmed and some of the members of his family have been excluded from the final draft of NRC.
The head of Bengali department at the Cotton State University, Prasanta Chakraborty, was in for a shock when he discovered that his the names of his elder brothers found a place in the final draft but those of their wives and children went unrecorded.
The NRC updation process has been a massive exercise in Assam, where, as many as 3,29,91,384 people had applied and the applications of 2,89,83,677 were accepted, including 1.9 crore names who found their names on the first draft itself.
Those not on the list include 2.48 lakh Doubtful-voters (D-voters) and their siblings and descendants.
Obviously, the final draft has created widespread concern in the country, with people speculating on the bearings this non inclusion in the list might have on their citizenship and fundamental rights.
Soon after the release of the latest list, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee lashed out at the Centre, accusing it of resorting to vote bank politics, insisting that this ‘divide and rule’ policy will finish the country.
Ruling party President Amit Shah hit back at the Opposition, saying that his party was the only one that had dared to take a firm stance against the issue of illegal immigration afflicting the country.
The National Register of Citizens has been deemed necessary to ‘solve’ the problem of illegal influx of Bangladesh nationals into the country. The issue of illegal immigrants have been plaguing the country and particularly the state off Assam since long, with immense emotional, economic and political implications.
Apart from that, the publication of the list comes close on the heels of the 2019 general elections in the country and the ruling party has been accused of targeting the indigenous people for reasons motivated by political gain.
However, non inclusion in the NRC does not take away the people’s fundamental right to vote and they can continue to exercise their universal suffrage, provided their name features in the voter’s list and they fulfill all conditions. The Election Commission will be publishing a voter list in January 2019, irrespective of the status of the final NRC.
The final list which is expected in December is already being ‘feared’ as there are apprehensions that the final document will be instrumental in stripping the citizenship rights of many people, even if they have been permanent residents of the State since eternity and particularly the Muslim population fears a severe backlash.
As of now, however, in spite of anticipations and apprehensions, people are still optimistic of getting their grievances redressed and find their names in the final NRC list as an establishment of their Indian identity.