New Delhi: With less than a week left for the National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published in Assam on August 31, Union home ministry has reiterated that the state government must ensure that no genuine citizen is harassed and all possible assistance be provided to those whose names are left out in the NRC exercise.
Since it has been decided to extend the period of filing appeals before foreigners tribunals from 60 to 120 days if their names are not included in the NRC, senior ministry officials, who are closely monitoring the situation with the state administration, have said that the latter must ensure that such people are not harassed by the security forces or any other agencies. A senior ministry official said that they had already instructed the state authorities to take precaution in ensuring that those people whose names are left out of the NRC, to be published on August 31, are neither detained or sent to any detention centre till their status is decided by a foreigners tribunal.
“We have also asked the state agencies to ensure that every person in Assam is clearly informed that only the foreigners tribunals were authorised or empowered to declare a person foreigner. Thus people whose names are left out in the NRC should not panic and the state must ensure that all possible legal assistance is provided to them in approaching the foreigners tribunals. Centre is very clear that non-inclusion of a person’s name in NRC does not by itself amount to him or her being declared as a foreigner,’’a senior official added.
Ministry official said adequate steps have been taken to address the concerns of the residents as state would provide all possible legal help to them in tribunals.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had a detailed meeting Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal and other senior officials last week to review the progress of NRC.