With activists, ruling and opposition parties crying foul over the final list of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) that left out over 19 lakh people, the ‘excluded’ villagers of Tamulpur in Baksa district of Assam threatened mass suicide if they are not included in the citizens’ list.
Around 3,000 people residing in Ahiyabari, Doamakha, Boroliapar, Pub Kochukata and so on have been excluded from the final version of the NRC. These villages are dominated by the Bengali population.
19,06,657 of the 3.29 crore applicants in Assam were left out of the final NRC. The NRC authority headed by the Supreme Court-appointed State Coordinator Prateek Hajela released the final NRC on its official website and through its social media handles at the stroke of 10 am on August 31st, 2019.
“We have submitted legacy data dating back to 1951 and 1966 along with other requisite documents. Still, the authorities crossed out our names. This is an injustice and conspiracy against the Bengali’s living in Assam. We have attended the hearings and officials cleared our papers too. We are experiencing nightmares due to the exclusion. We are living in constant fear,” said a local woman.
Another villager said, “In some family, names of father and mother were included, but the names of children were excluded. In others, one brother made way to the list, whereas, their sisters were left out of the final list. We appeal the Supreme Court and Assam Government to look into the issue and include the genuine citizens in the final list without much delay.”
The exclusion figure has displeased many in Assam. Assam Minister and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leaders came out openly and criticized the list. The BJP is seeking a review of the NRC list.
The process of NRC Update was started in Assam as per the order of the Supreme Court of India in 2013. The process of NRC update in Assam differs from the rest of the country and is governed by Rule 4A and the corresponding Schedule of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. These rules have been framed as per the cut-off date of March 24th,(Midnight), 1971 decided as per Assam Accord.
In a series of tweets, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that the Assam government will provide legal aid to underprivileged and needy people who have been excluded from the final list of the NRC. The Assam Government and Assam Police also appealed to the people not to believe in rumours.
Photos: Abhijit Talukdar