NRC in Assam: Ensure Justice for Excluded

The publication of the final list of the National Register of Citizens in
Assam has resulted in 19.06 lakh (over 1.9 million) persons to be excluded from the list. This huge number has roused legitimate fears that a large
a number of Indian citizens have been excluded.

It is important now to ensure that all Indian citizens who have not found a
place in the list are included. For this, the following steps have to be

Firstly, the government should spell out what will be the status and rights of those who have been excluded. Till their appeals are heard and the process is completed, the status quo should be maintained with regard to their existing rights and facilities. In Assam, an all-parties meeting must be convened to discuss the matter.

Secondly, the procedure set out is that those excluded can apply to the
designated Foreigners Tribunals within 120 days for their cases to be heard.

The Foreigners Tribunal is not a judicial body and functions more like an executive one. Moreover, as per the rules, it will consider the merit of the application before deciding to admit it. The CPI(M) wants the right to appeal to be processed through a judicial mechanism. The Foreigners
Tribunals are not adequate for this purpose.

Thirdly, the present system of sending those declared as foreigners by the
Tribunals to detention camps have to be stopped as it is violative of basic
human rights.

The CPI(M) will extend all necessary help, through various forums, to assist
the excluded people in getting legal help for justice.

The updating of the NRC in Assam came about in specific historical and political circumstances. The CPI(M) is against the introduction of the NRC
in the rest of India as the BJP government at the Centre intends to use this
process for their divisive communal agenda for sharpening polarisation.

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