ASSAM

Widespread suspicion about who is and isn't a citizen, heightened by the exclusion of over 4 million people from the National Register of Citizens 2018, is fueling a humanitarian crisis in Assam.

EXCLUSIVE: NRC update derails Saffron Agenda as lakhs of Hindus excluded from final draft
Higher Rate of Exclusion from NRC in Bengali Hindu dominated Districts of Assam

Assam has 33 Districts presently, of which 10 districts have a more than 50% Muslim population. However, other than Darrang, all other, nine, Muslim dominated districts of Assam are seeing lower percentage drop rates from the NRC draft list as compared to other Districts with a lesser Muslim population… This overall situation has created trepidation,…...Read More

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Who is an Indian, can the NRC decide?
By Teesta Setalvad

To dub the process of collating the final draft of the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC), released on July 30, as bizarre, haphazard, or just plain bureaucratic and insensate is simply not enough. The very fact that 4 million plus of residents of the state did not make the list is surely indication enough of…...Read More

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Citizenship in Assam:
A game of chance, of snakes and ladders


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NRC

National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list containing names of Indian citizens of Assam. The NRC was first prepared in 1951, after the Census of 1951. The NRC update of 2014-2016 across Assam includes the names of those persons (or their descendants) who appear in the NRC 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24 March 1971 or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to the midnight of 24 March 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam on or before 24 March 1971.

The NRC (1951) and the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24 March 1971 together are collectively called Legacy data. It is being done with the compliance with section 3 and 6A of Citizenship Act of 1955; the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 (amended in year 2009); Modalities and Standard Operating Procedure and Judgement Order of Supreme Court. Entire process is being monitored by Supreme Court.

Supreme Court in its order dated 25/10/2013 held the presence of D-Voters in the state doubtful and mentioned that these voters could be included only if the NRC is updated or the Foreigner's Tribunal declare them to be Indian Citizens.



Citizenship in Assam

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NRC

National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list containing names of Indian citizens of Assam. The NRC was first prepared in 1951, after the Census of 1951 to maintain a record of citizens. The Assam Agitation held between 1979- 1985 demanded the expulsion of 'foreigners' from Assam. This led to the updating of the NRC. The NRC process is meant to officially include the issue of illegal immigrants, specifically from Bangladesh. The recent draft of the NRC left out 4 million people out of the total 32 million plus applicants.

Keep a track of the NRC numbers

32991384
+ Number of Applicants
28983677
+ In the NRC
4007707
+ Citizenship in question

Note: A Claims and Objections process beginning August 7 will lead to updates to the list

EXCLUSIVE figures of NRC exclusions (district wise)

CJP has EXCLUSIVE data of district wise NRC exclusions

EXCLUSIVE: India’s former President’s kin left out of NRC in Assam

Members of India’s fifth President FA Ahmed have been left out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Now questions are being raised about the insensate practices followed by the NRC authorities during the update process that failed to consider natural calamities like floods that affect Legacy...Read More

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Submit Detailed Report on District-wise Exclusions from NRC: SC to Prateek Hajela

The Supreme Court has asked Prateek Hajela, the State Coordinator of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, to submit a detailed report on the people who have been excluded from the draft list. The report that should include a district wise percentage of population not included in the NRC, has to be submitted before the…

Reading Kafka and Agamben through the NRC of Assam

Can State render its own citizens stateless post facto after they have long lived in a country? Can the state deny the ‘right to have rights’ to those who were born or are descendants of those who were born in its undivided territory? Ought courts of law, by decrees, deny fundamental rights to persons by…

NRC or Anarchy?

The process of updating National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam was started with the objective of identification of the Indian Citizens living in Assam. The process was welcomed by all sections of in the State, as it came with an assurance that all Indian Citizens, along with their descendants will be enlisted in the…

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History

The genesis of the NRC is linked to the movement against ‘illegal immigrants’ , ostensibly from Bangladesh. This movement has in turn sparked off violence against these ‘illegal immigrants’. But what is the history of borders between Assam and Bangladesh ? What is the source of this disconent? Watch our maps to see how ‘Assam’ changed over the years.

Assam in Historical Maps

Assam was ruled by various dynasties during the medieval period - the Pala, Koch, Kachari, and Chutiya. The Ahom kingdom established in the 13th century at the upper Assam plain gradually took control over the entire region. Although there was continuous warfare, the kingdom ruled for over 600 years until the 19th century.

The present day Bangladesh and Assam were part of the British India till 1947. Until the idea of border came in, people have moved across this region freely. The British promoted the migration from the Bengal region to Assam for labour in the tea gardens and later for cultivation in the Brahmaputra valley.

  • Bengal Presidency (1826):Assam was included as a part of the Bengal Presidency

  • Chief Commissioner's Province (1874): Assam was separated from Bengal Presidency to for a new province. The Sylhet region of East Bengal is added to the Assam region.

  • Chief Commissioner's Province (1905): Bengal was partitioned and the East Bengal region was added to the existing Chief Commissioner's Province.

  • Chief Commissioner's Province (1911): Facing the backlash, the British revoke the the Bengal partition. Sylhet remains with Assam

  • Assam (1947): Assam post Independence. Sylhet joins Bangladesh. Present day Arunachal Pradesh is added to Assam in 1937

Detention Camps

Detention Camps are places where the Assamese who are Declared Foreigners are kept till they are deported. Currently 951 DFs are lodged in 6 detention centers operating out of makeshift facilities in local jails in Goalpara, Kokrajhar, Dhibrugarh, Tezpur, Silchar and Jorhat. These detainees do not possess the same rights as the convicted/charged inmates and aren’t allowed to parole, family visits, and working for a wage. Meanwhile, the government has sanctioned over Rs 40 crores to set up a Detention Camp at Dhakurbhita in Goalpara.

Pregnant and Helpless in a Detention Camp
The Making and Re-Making of Indians as Citizens in Assam: A CJP Series

This story is a part of our series on people in Assam who have been declared foreigners after an allegedly flawed and arbitrary process of determining citizenship. Even as the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is all set to be disclosed on June 30, 2018, thousands of people have had their…...Read More

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The Curious Case of Syamlal Ali

In yet another example of the heartlessness with which the system operates in Assam, the father of a new born baby has been unable to even hold his son, because he is locked up in a detention camp. This man Abul Hayet was declared a ‘foreigner’ because Election Commission officials recorded his grandfather Saman Malik’s…

मैं रोती और गिड़गिड़ाती रही, मगर पुलिस वाले मुझे घसीट ले गये : रष्मिनारा बेग़म

यह कहानी असम के निवासियों पर हमारी श्रृंखला की एक कड़ी है, जिन्हें नागरिकता निर्धारित करने की कथित रूप से त्रुटिपूर्ण और मनमानी प्रक्रिया के बाद विदेशी घोषित किया गया है. हालाकि 30 जून, 2018 को नागरिकों के राष्ट्रीय रजिस्टर (NRC) की अंतिम सूची जारी होना अभी बाकी है, कागज़ात में मामूली विसंगतियों के कारण हज़ारों…

Pregnant and Helpless in a Detention Camp

This story is a part of our series on people in Assam who have been declared foreigners after an allegedly flawed and arbitrary process of determining citizenship. Even as the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is all set to be disclosed on June 30, 2018, thousands of people have had their…

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D Voter

D voters are people whose position as voters is doubtful owing to lack of their ability to produce proper citizenship credentials. The Election Commission started classifying citizens as D voter in 1997. The Border Police would refer suspected foreigners to Foreigners’ Tribunals following which there would be a trial where they would be required to prove that they are genuine citizens. So far 2,44,144 people had been marked as D Voters till December 31, 2017. 1,31,034 cases had been disposed off and 1,13,110 cases were still pending.

भला एक 8 साल का बच्चा ‘संदिग्ध वोटर’ कैसे हो सकता है ?

Tमोनुवर हुसैन, एक 8 साल का मेधावी छात्र है जो अभी दूसरी कक्षा में है और पढ़ना-लिखना, गिनती करना, यहाँ तक की सरल जोड़ना घटाना भी जानता है. मगर ऐसा प्रतीत हो रहा है कि असम का राज्य तंत्र मोनुवर को ‘विभाजन’ सिखाने में तुला हुआ है. जुलाई 2018 में मोनुवर का नाम डी-वोटर यानी ‘संदिग्ध वोटरों’ की सूची में पाया गया! जबकि अगले दस साल तक...Read More

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भला एक 8 साल का बच्चा ‘संदिग्ध वोटर’ कैसे हो सकता है ?

मोनुवर हुसैन, एक 8 साल का मेधावी छात्र है जो अभी दूसरी कक्षा में है और पढ़ना-लिखना, गिनती करना, यहाँ तक की सरल जोड़ना घटाना भी जानता है. मगर ऐसा प्रतीत हो रहा है कि असम का राज्य तंत्र मोनुवर को ‘विभाजन’ सिखाने में तुला हुआ है. जुलाई 2018 में मोनुवर का नाम डी-वोटर यानी…

8 Year Old Declared D-Voter in Assam

The final draft of NRC was published today on July 30, 2018 and a number of people have been declared D voters. Monavar Hussain, an 8-year old boy is one among them – strangely, his parents are legal citizens.

8 year old boy served Doubtful Voter notice in Assam

8 year old Monuwar Hussain is a bright second standard student. He has learnt to read, write, count and can even do basic addition and subtraction. But it appears that Assam’s state machinery wants to put him on a fast track to master ‘division’. In July 2018, Monuwar found himself on a list of doubtful…

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Foreigner Tribunals

Foreigners Tribunals are the quasi- judicial bodies responsible for hearing cases with respect to foreigners/non-citizens/D-voters under the Foreigners Act, 1946. When the Border Police find a person’s citizenship suspect, that person has to prove his nationality within 15 days, failing which the case is referred to the local Foreigner Regional Registration Office. The Office conducts its own enquiries and if not satisfied the case then gets transferred to the FT..

Assam man forced to prove Indian citizenship four times!

Even as Assam gets ready for a draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that will be released on July 30, 2018, many people, whose cases are still pending before Foreigners’ Tribunals or the Gauhati High Court, will have to wait to have their names cleared before they can be added in the NRC. But as we discovered....Read More

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Assam Citizenship Crisis: Is Anyone Safe?

Ten kilometers away from Morigaon town, ten members of the family of a former Deputy Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly have been accused of being foreigners. Reports say almost all residents of this village have been served similar notices. They all now, stare at an uncertain future.

Assam man forced to prove Indian citizenship four times!

Even as Assam gets ready for a draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that will be released on July 30, 2018, many people, whose cases are still pending before Foreigners’ Tribunals or the Gauhati High Court, will have to wait to have their names cleared before they can be added in the NRC. But as…

Gauhati HC reconstitutes Special Bench presiding over FT appeals

In a huge relief to many people who fear exclusion from the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, the Gauhati High Court has reconstituted the bench which hears appeals against judgments of Foreigners’ Tribunals. The previous single judge has been replaced by a two judge bench now. In an order dated July 3, 2018,…

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Declared Foreigner

A Declared Foreigner is a person who has failed to prove his citizenship before a Foreigners’ Tribunal. Names of suspected foreigners and D Voters are referred to FTs who then conduct a trial where the proceedee is required to not only produce documents to prove their citizenship, but also prove the authenticity of the documents. If they fail, the FT designates them Declared Foreigner (DF).

I’m not a smart man, but I know what prison is: Anjaan Musafir

In this edition of our series on how the idea of Indian citizenship is being made and unmade in Assam as the National Register of Citizens is being updated, we bring you the story of Anjaan Musafir*. He is a man who could be India’s answer to DB Cooper, given how he has successfully evaded authorities by...Read More

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EXCLUSIVE: Assam’s former Dy Speaker’s kin declared ‘Foreigner’

Despite intense media brouhaha about several members of the family of Moulavi Muhammad Amiruddin, the first Deputy Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly, being served notice to prove their citizenship, a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Assam has now declared his grand nephew Rafikul Islam a ‘foreigner’. The order was passed on July 30, 2018… the same day…

A Crisis in Assam: Citizen Interrupted

CJP’s fact finding team in Assam has found chilling stories from Assam that point to a looming humanitarian crisis. For five long years Saken Ali found himself incarcerated in a detention camp due to a minor variation in his name in official records. In a truly Kafkaesque twist to the tale, now his family members…

Gauhati HC upholds NRC State Coordinator’s controversial order

In what has come as a shock to many, the Gauhati High Court has upheld the May 2, 2018 order by the National Register of Citizens (NRC) State Coordinator, Prateek Hajela, that asks for names of siblings and other family members of Declared Foreigners (DF) to be kept pending from the NRC. This makes entire…

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Judiciary on Assam

The Supreme Court is monitoring the NRC update process through the Registrar General of India. Over a period of time, the SC and Gauhati High Court have issued many orders on the NRC and citizenship issues. We present here a primer on how the judiciary has looked at the issue of citizenship and NRC.s

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Gauhati HC Upholds NRC Coordinator’s order on siblings and family members of Declared Foreigners

Point of Discussion: The petition has been raised by an aggrieved brother of a Declared Foreigner and seeks to establish the unconstitutionality of such a notification in the light of S.2(3) and S.3(2) of the Schedule to the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003. Conclusion: The High Court upheld…

Gauhati HC order on Siblings and family members of Declared Foreigners

Point Under Discussion: The discussion centers on the citizenship status of the brothers, sisters and other family relatives of Declared Foreigners and their consequent inclusion in the NRC list. Conclusion: According to the existent statutory provisions, namely the Foreigners’ Act, 1946, read with the Foreigners’ (Tribunal) Order, 1964, the Superintendent of Police has to make…

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