The final list of the National Register of Citizen (NRC) in Assam is scheduled to be published at 10 am on Saturday.
The fate of lakhs of people will be decided as the list will segregate Indian citizens living in Assam from those who had illegally entered the state from Bangladesh after 1971.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), however, clarified that non-inclusion of a person’s name in the NRC will not amount to his or her being declared a “foreigner”.
Those who will be excluded from the list will get an opportunity to file an appeal within 120 days in the Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT), as per the direction given by the Union Home Ministry, said Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
He also requested the people to maintain peace and tranquillity and said that the government will make sure nobody is subjected to “unnecessary harassment”.
Ahead of the crucial move, central paramilitary forces have been directed to maintain law and order in the state.
Several districts of Assam have been declared ‘sensitive’ and the security has been beefed up as a precautionary measure.
“We have taken care of all the security arrangements. We hope that the citizens of Assam will support the legal process and I believe this entire process will be completed peacefully,” DGP of Assam, Kuladhar Saikia had said.
NRC is a register containing names of Indian citizens, which was prepared for the only time in 1951. It is being updated for Assam as of now to weed out illegal immigrants.
The first list of NRC was first published in Assam in 1951. When the draft NRC was published on July 30, 2018, there was a huge controversy over the exclusion of 40.7 lakh people from it.
The draft NRC included the names of 2.9 crore people out of the total 3.29 crore applications.
The Supreme Court had last month extended the timeline for the final publication of NRC from July 31 to August 31. It had rejected a plea to extend the NRC deadline for sample verification.