Community organisations are preparing to guide people, who have been excluded from the final NRC, through the bureaucratic process while appealing for inclusion
Community-based organisations are preparing to help people from their communities deal with a possible exclusion from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam. The final NRC is expected to be on August 31.
As per procedure, if an individual is left out of the NRC, he or she can appeal for inclusion at the Foreigners' Tribunal. If the plea is rejected there, the person can move the High Court, followed by the Supreme Court.
Many of those facing a possible exclusion are Hindu Bengalis, Gorkhas, Bengal-origin Muslims and Hindi-speaking people.
Concerns remain about how people would be able to bear the cost of fighting such legal battles.
These community-based organisations are preparing to guide people through the bureaucratic process.
Organisations such as Akhil Assam Bhojpuri Parishad are preparing to challenge exclusions in the tribunals once the final NRC is published. The organisation’s working president, Nandlal Koiri, told The Times of India, “We have no option but to take up the legal course for those from our community who could not make it to the final NRC.”
“How can people from Bihar and UP become doubtful voters or foreigners? Is this not a conspiracy to tag Hindi-speaking people as doubtful citizens?” he added.
The Gorkha community is also preparing to challenge exclusions legally. The community was granted legitimacy by the India-Nepal Treaty of 1950.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on August 19 indicated that the state government could explore legislative options to deal with the wrongful inclusion of some names after publication of the final NRC.
In July 2018, over 40 lakh people were excluded from the NRC draft. The draft contained names of 2.8 crore eligible people out of a total 3.29 crore applicants.
An additional 1.02 lakh people were included in July in the list of excluded persons, taking the total ineligible persons to 41.1 lakh in the complete draft of the document, a list of the Assam's residents.Assam, which has faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC that was first prepared in 1951.
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