“The state government will take all possible steps to help genuine Indians prove their citizenship,” said Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Sonowal’s statement came a day before the publication of the final National Register of Citizens.
“The exclusion of anyone’s name from the final list does not mean that he is a foreigner. Such a decision can be taken only by a Foreigners Tribunal after following the proper legal process,” he told PTI in an interview.
“The central government has already extended the time period for appeal in an FT from 60 days to 120 days,” he added.
The stated aim of the National Register of Citizens is to separate genuine Indian citizens from undocumented immigrants living in the state. According to its terms, anyone who cannot prove that they or their ancestors entered Assam before midnight on March 24, 1971, will be declared a foreigner.
More than 40 lakh people were excluded from the final draft published in 2018. An “additional exclusion list” was published on June 26. It contained names of 1,02,463 people who were earlier included in the draft.
“I appeal to everyone to extend their wholehearted cooperation in the peaceful publication of the final list of the NRC. We have directed Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police in every district to be extra alert and ensure that no untoward incident takes place anywhere,” he added.