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Updated NRC for Assam - II

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January 04, 2018

Click here for Part I

What is the issue?

While the NRC could address the issue of illegal residents, there lies a range of challenging issues pre and post completion.

What are the challenges ahead?

  • Claims - Close to 14 million cases are still remaining under scrutiny out of the total applicants.
  • There are more people who do not make it to the Draft List of the NRC, clearly indicating more illegal immigrants in Assam.
  • Thus, there are sure to be claims and contestations even after the final draft.
  • Humanitarian concerns - Nearly five decades have elapsed since the cut-off date of March 25, 1971.
  • Certainly, individuals who have sneaked in illegally would have made settlements in India for generations.
  • Expecting them to leave after such a long period has some serious humanitarian issues.
  • Deportation - The list of aliens is only expected to increase with further applications and scrutiny.
  • This is especially worrying given the absence of a deportation treaty with Bangladesh.
  • There is a possibility that the issue could evolve as that of the Rohingyas of Myanmar’s Rakhine province.
  • Verification - An individual has to demonstrate that she, or her ancestors, was in the 1951 register, or else in any electoral rolls before March 1971.
  • For those born after 1971, even the presentation of a valid Indian passport or birth certificate is not adequate grounds for inclusion.
  • The process would be challenging with these procedural issues.
  • Notably, it is being monitored by the Supreme Court and supposed to be completed within a year.
  • Political - Political parties have turned a blind eye to the situation over the decades in order to ensure vote banks.
  • Given this, inclusion of more residents against the will of the anti-Bengali and anti-Muslim political forces is sure to unveil new political challenges to the state government.


Source: The Hindu, Business Standard

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