Other States

The citizenry test: Assam NRC explained

Anxious moment: People enquiring about their names on the NRC draft in Assam on Monday. Ritu Raj Konwar

Anxious moment: People enquiring about their names on the NRC draft in Assam on Monday. Ritu Raj Konwar  

The draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), published on Monday, includes only those able to prove they were in Assam before 1971. A look at some critical questions

Who is a D-voter?

Short for 'dubious' or 'doubtful, this is a category of voters disenfranchised by the government for alleged lack of proper citizenship documents. Some 2.48 lakh people got the D-voter tag during NRC process

Who is a declared foreigner?

D-voters are tried by special tribunals under the Foreigners' Act and if they fail to defend their citizenship claim they are marked as declared foreigners and sent to any of six detention camps, which are within jails for criminals, for deportation. There were 91,206 declared foreigners as on December 31, 2017.

Why is NRC being updated in Assam?

Officially, the NRC process will address the issue of illegal migrants, specifically from Bangladesh. The National Register of Citizens was first published in 1951 to record citizens, their houses and holdings. Updating the NRC to root out foreigners was a demand during the Assam Agitation (1979-1985)

Why is March 24, 1971 the cut-off date?

There have been several waves of migration to Assam from  Bangladesh, but the biggest was in March 1971  when the Pakistan army crackdown forced many to flee to India. The Assam Accord of 1985 that ended the six-year anti-foreigners' agitation decided upon the midnight of March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date.

Who is a citizen in Assam?

The Citizenship Act of 1955 was amended after the Assam Accord  for all Indian-origin people who came from Bangladesh before January 1, 1966 to be deemed as citizens. Those who came between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 were eligible for citizenship after registering and living in the State for 10 years while those entering after March 25, 1971, were to be deported.

What happens to the excluded 40 lakh?

They will have to file for claims and objections and submit relevant documents for re-verification. The NRC office will issue claim forms from August 7 to 30, and these applicants would have to submit the forms from August 30 to September 28. The documents will be verified and accepted or rejected for the final NRC to be published on an unspecified date. The cases of those left out of the final NRC will be heard in the Foreigners' Tribunals, after which applicants can approach the High Court

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 4:22:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/the-citizenry-test-assam-nrc-explained/article24560028.ece

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