Assam’s National Register Of Citizens

What is National Register of Citizens?

During the Census of 1951, a national citizen register was created that contained the details of every person by village. The data included name, age, father’s/husband’s name, houses or holdings belonging to them, means of livelihood and so on. These registers covered every person enumerated during the Census of 1951 and were kept in the offices of deputy commissioners and sub-divisional officers as per the Centre’s instructions issued in 1951. In the early 1960s these registers were transferred to the police.

Why was there a demand to update Assam’s NRC?

Since Independence till 1971, when Bangladesh was created, Assam witnessed large-scale migration from East Pakistan that became Bangladesh after the war. Soon after the war on March 19, 1972, a treaty for friendship, co-operation and peace was signed between India and Bangladesh. The migration of Bangladeshis into Assam continued. To bring this regular influx of immigrants to the notice of then prime minister, the All Assam Students Union submitted a memorandum to Indira Gandhi in 1980 seeking her “urgent attention” to the matter. Subsequently, Parliament enacted the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983. This Act, made applicable only to Assam, was expected to identify and deport illegal migrants in the state.

What spurred the Assam agitation? What was the outcome?

The people were not satisfied with the government’s measures and a massive statelevel student agitation started, spearheaded by All Assam Students Union and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad. This movement resulted in the ‘Assam Accord’ signed on August 15, 1985, between AASU, AAGSP and the central and state governments.

Who are included in the NRC?

Persons whose names appear in NRC 1951 or in any of the electoral rolls up to March 24, 1971, and their dependents are to be included in the current NRC. Persons who came to Assam on or after January 1, 1966, but before March 25, 1971, and registered themselves in keeping with the Centre’s rules for foreigners registration, and who have not been declared as illegal migrants or foreigners by the competent authority, could register. Foreigners who came to Assam on or after March 25, 1971, are to be thereafter detected and expelled as per the law. Apart from this, all Indian citizens including their children and descendants who moved to Assam post March 24, 1971, were eligible for inclusion in the updated NRC. But ‘satisfactory’ proof of residence in any part of the country (outside Assam) as on March 24, 1971, would have to be provided.

What happen to those whose name are not in the NRC 2018?

The July 30, 2018, NRC list is a draft and not the final one. People whose names are missing can still apply. The period to file such claims is from August 30 to September 28. Applicants can call toll-free numbers to enquire with their application receipt number.

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