The Supreme Court’s recent decision to extend the December 15 deadline to file claims and objections for inclusion of one’s name in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has not only elated the people whose name did not enter in the draft NRC but also relieved many of them as the apex court has asked the NRC officials to accept the List B documents regardless of date of issuance.
Although names of 40,07,707 people had been left out of the draft NRC published by the government of Assam on July 30 this year, only a little over ten lakh people have so far applied for inclusion of their names in the final NRC.
“Most of the people in our area, particularly the women had submitted the certificate of Gaon Burha or certificate issued by the panchayat offices as linkage document, which were rejected by the NRC officials. Many of them had pan card or bank documents issued recently for which they could not provide the documents,” said Akram Hussain, an activist under Bholukabari gaon panchayat in Assam’s Kamrup district.
He said that a total of 16,000 people in villages under the Bholukabari Gaon Panchayat had applied for inclusion of their names in the draft NRC. “Out of this, names of 4,000 people have been left out and 80 percent of those left out were women and children,” Hussain said.
The apex court had on December 12 asked the NRC officials ‘to accept List B documents that are found to be legally valid, regardless of the date of issuance of the same’. “Now many people can submit bank/ LIC or Post office documents issued recently as their linkage document,” said Hussain.
He said that none of these people are Bangladeshi infiltrators. Ancestors of these people had came to this part of the country during the British Raj that encouraged infiltration to the fertile lands of Assam from part of the then East Pakistan. However, most of these people are often branded as illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators due to their religious and linguistic similarities with the natives of Bangladesh.