NRC Assam: The Journey Till The Final List
GUWAHATI: The extensive exercise of updating the NRC list has been carried out at a cost of more than Rs 1,200 crores, as per reports.
The first draft of the NRC was published on January 1, 2018. A total of 3.29 crore people had applied, out of which 1.9 crore names were included in the first draft list. However, the final draft which came out seven months after the publication of the first draft on July 30, 2018, as many as 40.07 lakh people were excluded from it. Further, 2.89 crore applicants were found to be eligible out of 3.29 crore people who had applied.
Since the process began, there have been several extensions of the deadline by the Supreme Court for the publication of the final list, which was finally fixed for August 31 2019.
On the other hand, those who have been left out of the NRC list have spent huge amounts on hearings till now. As per a recently released report by New Delhi-based Rights and Risks Analysis Group (RRAG), excluded people have spent Rs 7,836 crores for the hearings leaving many economically crippled so much so that they would not be able to challenge their exclusion in front of the foreigner’s tribunals.
The report titled is “The Economic Cost of Draft NRC: Poor Made Extremely Poor” and the respondents said that the average cost of attending the hearing was Rs 19,065 as per a survey conducted by RRAG.
The survey was conducted in Goalpara, Baksa and Kamrup (Rural) districts from July 17 to July 20 and it covered 62 respondents.
The way forward
The central government has clarified that those who will be excluded from the final NRC would not be declared as foreigners immediately and will not be put into detention centres. They also said that they would get adequate opportunity to appeal their case in front of foreigners’ tribunal.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) recently announced that “non-inclusion of a person’s name in the NRC does not by itself amount to him/her being declared as a foreigner.” For this, the government has also extended the time limit to appeal before the FTs from the earlier 60 days to 120 days now.
The central government also plans to make 200 new FTs operational in the state and 100 FTs exist as of now. In total, the MHA officials had announced that a total of 1,000 FTs will be opened in phases in Assam.