Final NRC list today, Assam on the edge
Tens of thousands of paramilitary and police personnel were deployed in Assam today on the eve of the publication of National Register of Citizens (NRC) that could leave millions of people stateless, many of them Muslims.
For the last four years, residents of Assam have been scrambling to prove their identity in a Supreme Court-ordered exercise after decades of campaigns by groups complaining about illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.
On Saturday, the authorities will release the final citizenship list. A draft last year left out more than 40 lakh people, raising the prospects of protests by people facing an uncertain future when the final list comes out. “All efforts have been made to ensure people have no difficulties in checking their names,” a state official said.
The police said 60,000 police and 19,000 paramilitary personnel would be on duty on Saturday. “All precautionary measures have been taken with security forces deployed in strength,” DGP Kuladhar Saikia said. He said, “Nagarik Samitis (citizens’ committees), which were set up under various police stations across the state about 23 years ago, were also used by the police to ensure that peace prevailed during the process of preparation of the NRC list.”
Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal asked people not to panic and said the state government would take all steps to help genuine Indians prove their citizenship.
Meanwhile, the government gave a three-month extension to Assam Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia, a day before the publication of the final list of the NRC in the state. — Agencies
1951: The National Register of Citizens was first published
March 24, 1971: Cut-off date for making citizenship claim
May, 2013: SC ordered updating NRC
Feb, 2015: The exercise began
Dec 31, 2017: Part of draft NRC published
July 30, 2018: Complete draft was published
June 26, 2019: Extra draft exclusion list published