NRC in Assam: 1.9 crore have been cleared in first round of lists as Indian nationals. (Reuters)
Guwahati: The future of nearly 1.5 crore people in Assam is on the line as the government prepares to release the final list of Indian citizens in the state today. Most of them may not find their names in the National Register of Citizens, updated for the first time since 1951 to account for illegal migration into Assam from neighbouring Bangladesh. The updated list is seen by critics as a move to target Assam's Muslim population on the pretext of weeding out Bangladeshi migrants. Security has been strengthened and the Centre has sent extra troops to maintain order in the state.
Here are the top 10 updates on the NRC in Assam:
The National Register of Citizens was first prepared in 1951 after a census. The latest updation of the list in Assam contains the names of descendants of those whose names were in the 1951 list, or those who were in Assam's Electoral rolls till March 24, 1971.
The descendants of those who can prove citizenship till March 24, 1971, will also be considered Indian citizens. So will those who came between January 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971, and registered themselves with the Foreigners Registration Regional Officer.
Early this month, NRC authorities have disclosed that 1.5 lakh people will be dropped from the first list, since anomalies were found in their documents. Around 50,000 of them are rural women.
The women had thought they were safe since they submitted a certificate from their village panchayat that said they were citizens. But they have been asked to submit other documents, like marriage certificate and school leaving certificates, which they do not have.
Several of the states which share border with Assam -- Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur - have strengthened security along the border. The Centre has sent over 22,000 paramilitary troops to Assam and the adjoining states.
To help identify declared foreign nationals, the National Register of Citizens is also preparing a common database of citizens.
Assam is also unhappy about a proposed law that would allow illegal migrants from the minority communities of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan eligible for citizenship after six years of stay in India.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 was a promise by Narendra Modi ahead of the 2014 general elections in which the BJP swept to power.
But the idea has had the residents up in arms in Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and Manipur, which share a porous border with Bangladesh. Some of the BJP's alliance partners have threatened to withdraw support from the coalition governments in the northeast.