Widespread suspicion about who is and isn't a citizen, heightened by the exclusion of over 19 lakh people from the National Register of Citizens 2019, is fueling a humanitarian crisis in Assam.

What next for those left out of the NRC?

The NRC, is a process that is complex and not so easy to understand. So far, it has been unique to Assam. It was a consensual process arrived at after the tumultuous years that preceded the Assam Accord, when aggression, strife and violence marred a politics that was driven by real or imagined fears of…...Read More

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CJP in Assam: The evolution of our campaign to avert a humanitarian crisis

Even before the partial draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released in Assam, CJP has had its eye on the brewing humanitarian crisis in the state. Here’s a look at our initiatives since then. In December 2017, the first partial draft of the NRC was published. This partial draft excluded over one…...Read More

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

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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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CJP Reaches Out

CJP reaches out to the people of Assam who are negotiating a labyrinth of citizenship related issues. After the publication of the NRC over 500 CJP volunteers spread over 19 districts are going from village to village conducting workshops to spread awareness about how to go about defending their citizenship in Foreigners' Tribunals. CJP is also training paralegals to help people during these hearings before Foreigners' Tribunals.

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अगर NRC में मेरा नाम नहीं आता तो मैं आत्महत्या कर लेता : हसन अली

मार्च 2019 में असम के हांस छाड़ा गांव में रहने वाले हसन अली ने खुदकुशी की कोशिश की थी. वजह क्या थी? दरअसल, हसन का नाम NRC के फाइनल ड्राफ्ट में नहीं था. हसन अली को उनके दोस्तों को बचा लिया. उन्होंने उस रस्सी को काट दिया, जिससे उन्होंने फंदा लगाने की कोशिश की थी.…

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CJP Team Visits Families of People Excluded from the NRC

The CJP team visited some of the people and families who are among the 19,06,657, facing the threat of statelessness. These people will have to file an appeal before the foreigners’ tribunals within 120 days and CJP is determined to heal the trauma and turmoil caused due to exclusion from the NRC.

Assam NRC Final list publication day in pictures

As the final National Register of Citizens (NRC) was published in Assam, CJP volunteer motivators and community volunteers spread out across the state to help people determine if they had made it to the coveted list. We not only guided people to Nagrik Seva Kendras (NSK), but also set up makeshift facilities to check the…

I would have attempted suicide again had my name been excluded from the NRC: Hassan Ali

A suicide survivor who CJP had counselled and assisted during the application process, has now been included in the final NRC. In March 2019, Hasan Ali, a resident on Hans Chara village, had tried to take his own life after his name was excluded from the NRC final draft. Ali was saved when his friends cut the…

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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. 3.2 crore people submitted over 68 lakh documents and just over 19 lakh people were left out of the final NRC published on August 31, 2019.

Keep a track of the NRC numbers

+ Number of Applicants
+ In the NRC
+ Citizenship in question

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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Bangladeshi bogeyman myth EXPOSED in Assam!

The entire debate around outsiders and foreigners has been based on the long held belief that Bangladeshi infiltrators are threatening the demography and culture of Assam. But now as per a community wise break-up of the over 19 lakh people excluded from the final National Register of Citizens (NRC), nearly a third of the people…

Proceedings before Foreigners’ Tribunals are really the issue: Teesta Setalvad

A two day tribunal titled ‘Contested Citizenship in Assam: People’s Tribunal on Constitutional Processes and Human Cost’ to examine the scale and scope of the citizenship crisis in Assam. The jury members included Justice (Rt) Madan Lokur, Justice (Rt) Kurien Joseph, Justice (Rt) AP Shah, Ambassador Deb Mukharji, Ms. Githa Hariharan, Dr. Syeda Hameed, Prof.…

अगर NRC में मेरा नाम नहीं आता तो मैं आत्महत्या कर लेता : हसन अली

मार्च 2019 में असम के हांस छाड़ा गांव में रहने वाले हसन अली ने खुदकुशी की कोशिश की थी. वजह क्या थी? दरअसल, हसन का नाम NRC के फाइनल ड्राफ्ट में नहीं था. हसन अली को उनके दोस्तों को बचा लिया. उन्होंने उस रस्सी को काट दिया, जिससे उन्होंने फंदा लगाने की कोशिश की थी.…

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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. There are three ways in which people end up before a Foreigners' Tribunal; the Election Commission marks them Doubtful Voter (D-Voter), the Border Police designates them Suspected Foreigner and refers them to a Foreigners' Tribunal, and now after being excluded from the NRC people are required to defend their Indian citizenship before a Foreigners' Tribunal.

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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More than 200 new FT members appointed in Assam

The government of Assam has appointed 221 new Foreigners’ Tribunal (FT) members to hear appeals of over 19 lakh people who have been left out of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC). The list of names of new appointees and the FT to which they have been assigned was released on Monday via a…

The Notorious Foreigners’ Tribunals of Assam

Assam’s dreaded Foreigners’ Tribunals (FTs) are back in focus after the Ministry of Home Affairs told the Parliament that over 1 million people have been declared foreigners in Assam by FTs so far! But what exactly are FTs and what do these tribunals do? Watch this video to find out.     Related: CJP in…

New MHA order setback for citizens’ rights in Assam?

On May 30, 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an ‘Extraordinary Order’ via a Gazette which in effect appears not only grant powers to multiple authorities to make a reference to Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT), but also grants rather nebulous powers to FTs themselves.  FTs are quasi-judicial authorities that decide upon the question of…

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CJP's Toll Free Number

Until recently, CJP operated a toll free number in four different languages; Assamese, Bengali, English and Hindi, to counsel people across Assam. We received over 12000 calls from distressed people. After publication of the final NRC, the number has been discontinued.

1800 1020 138

Archive: District-wise Exclusion Data

CJP had accessed exclusive district-wise data of people left out of final draft NRC published on July 30, 2018

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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I live on the streets and sleep under the stars: Anjaan Musafir 2.0

Last year, we brought you the story of Anjaan Musafir, a daily wage labourer from Guwahati who has been on the run for over 20 years after being served a D Voter notice. During our visit to Assam in June 2019, we met yet another man who fled his home fearing incarceration in one of Assam’s infamous…

असम के डिटेंशन कैंप में क़ैद 70 वर्ष की महिला शायद रिहाई तक जीवित न रह सके

जून 2019, CJP वरिष्ठ वकीलों और पत्रकारों के एक प्रतिनिधिमंडल के साथ असम में ज़मीनी हालात का जायज़ा लेने पहुंची। चिरांग जिले के बिजनी गाँव में, हमारी मुलाकात बिस्वनाथ दास से हुई, जिसकी 70 वर्षीय माँ, पारबती, कोकराझार के डिटेंशन कैंप में 2 साल 8 महीने से क़ैद हैं। हमने बिस्वनाथ को बताया कि सुप्रीम कोर्ट…

असम में FT ने 63959 लोगों की गैरमौजूदगी में उन्हें विदेशी घोषित किया

लोकसभा के समक्ष एक चौंका देने वाला खुलासे में गृह मंत्रालय ने यह स्वीकार किया है कि FT की सुनवाई में शामिल हुए बिना ही लगभग साठ हजार से अधिक लोगों को विदेशी घोषित किया गया है। गृह मंत्रालय ने काँग्रेस नेता शशि थरूर के छह सवालों का जवाब देते हुए यह बात कही। गृह मंत्रालय में राज्य…

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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.

Assam Detention Camps: At least 10 people released in compliance with SC order

Amidst the gloom and uncertainty in the run up to the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, there is a ray of hope for some. At least 10, possibly 13 people including one woman, have been released from detention camps as per the provisions of a Supreme Court order passed earlier this year. Earlier this year,…...Read More

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CJP answers a widow’s wail in Assam

In a shocking case of mistaken identity, Khatimun Nessa, an elderly widow, was declared foreigner and sent to the Tezpur detention camp. In a double blow to the family, her son Idris Ali was also declared foreigner and incarcerated because of this mistake. So far, both mother and son, have spent three years two months…

Behind Shadows

Assam’s Detention Camps are the dark, dank and dreary modern day purgatory like limbo lands, where those who are Declared Foreigner (DF) by Foreigners’ Tribunals (FT) are condemned to spend their time till they are able to either secure bail or have the FT judgment overturned by a higher court. However, given how most inmates…

No detention for those left out of NRC till declared foreigner by FT

Determined to stem the panic being generated at the grassroots with the possibility of the exclusions of hundreds of thousands of persons from the NRC final list, post August 31, the state government has issued notice on August 27 through the additional chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna (IAS) categorically stating that “Persons left out of…

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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

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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Another Bengali Hindu dies in an Assam Detention Camp

70 year old Amrit Das became the latest example of what some people in Assam are beginning to call a 3D death. He was first pronounced a D-Voter. Then a Foreigners’ Tribunal ruled that he was a Declared Foreigner and finally he died in a Detention Camp. This is the 43rd such death in the state.   A resident…

Yet another Mysterious Death in Assam Detention Camp

Jobbar Ali, a 61 year old man who had been languishing behind bars at the Detention Camp in Tezpur, was found dead on October 5. Now, his family, many of whom are themselves fighting allegations of being doubtful or D-Voters, suspect foul play in his death.   Ali lived with his wife Simon Nessa, two…

चाय वाले की माँ

आज देश भर के अखबार अक्सर एक चाय वाले के बारे में खबरें छापते हैं. कभी कभी उसी चाय वाले की वृद्ध माँ की भी तसवीरें छपतीं हैं. असम प्रदेश अपने चाय के बागानों के लिए विश्वप्रसिद्ध है. आज चलिए आपका परिचय करवाते हैं असम के एक चाय वाले की माँ से… एक ऐसी माँ…

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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 NRCs


SC directs NRC authorities to ensure fair Claims and Objections hearings

Offering some relief to lakhs of people who have filed applications and are attending hearings as a part of the Claims and Objections process of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Supreme Court has directed the NRC authority to ensure that the people receive a fair hearing. On May 30, a bench led by…

SC offers Relief to Assam Detention Camp Inmates

In a huge relief for inmates of Assam’s infamous detention camps, the Supreme Court has directed that those who have spent more than three years in captivity be set free subject to certain conditions. This was during the course of hearing a petition on the state of detention camps in Assam. The SC has laid…

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…

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Documents & Judgments

Browse through all NRC related documents here