GUWAHATI, JULY 25: The Government of India is yet to come out with a decision on what will be done with the persons whose names do not figure in the final National Register of Citizens (NRC), while, the security agencies are also apprehensive that radical groups may try to take advantage of the situation to achieve their own goals.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, highly placed official sources admitted that till date, the Government has not been able to formulate a policy on the fate of the people whose names would not appear in the NRC. It may be mentioned here that the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, set August 31 as the deadline for publication of the final NRC.
Sources pointed out that all the persons, whose names do not appear in the NRC would have the right to appeal before the Foreigners’ Tribunals and then they would also have the right to approach higher courts. The State Government has already decided to increase the number of Foreigners’ Tribunals to deal with the large volume of cases expected after the publication of the final NRC and process of appointment of members for the new Tribunals has already started. But till now, the Government has not been able to formulate a policy on the fate of those who will be declared as foreign nationals.
Sources pointed out that the NRC is a list of Indian nationals living in Assam and those whose names do not appear in it cannot be branded as nationals of any particular country. It will be almost impossible to deport such large number of people and in any case, no country will accept such people. “As March 25, 1971 is the cut-off date for inclusion of names in the NRC, it will be difficult to find the origin of the people living in Assam for decades unless the person concerned comes forward and declare that he is from a particular place in a particular country. Even if a person admits that he is from a different country, the country concerned will not accept his word without thorough verification and in such cases it will take a long time to carry out such verification. For example, if a person admits that he is from a particular place in Bangladesh and entered Assam in 1971, the Government of Bangladesh will also find it difficult to verify his claim. Moreover, it will not be possible for India to drive out lakhs of people as it will result in international hue and cry,” sources pointed out.
There is some thought of giving work permits to the persons whose names do not appear in the NRC, but so far, the Government has not been able to take any decision in this regard.
Sources said that if all the persons whose names do not appear in the NRC approach the Tribunals and then higher courts, it will take a long time to dispose of the cases and no one is sure whether the voting rights of such persons would be suspended till their names are cleared by the courts. If that is not done, suspected foreigners will continue to cast votes in the elections for years, sources pointed out. Moreover, names of around 40 lakh applicants were not included in the draft of the NRC and of those, around 36 lakh filed claims.
No one knows what happened to the rest 4 lakh people though it is now sure that those are not Indian citizens, sources pointed out.
Meanwhile, the security agencies are apprehensive that radical and other such elements might try to take advantage of the situation after the publication of the final NRC and admitted that all the security forces would have to remain on high alert to thwart any such attempt. (Courtesy: AT)