Fate of 19 lakh people in Assam hangs in balance

After receiving certified rejection slips, people get 120 days to appeal.

Guwahati: In the ongoing protest against the citizenship act, the most crucial phase of ‘detection and deportation’ of those left out in final publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been delayed inordinately with authorities failing to issue ‘rejection slip’ and setting up of 200 new foreigners tribunal for judicial scrutiny of nearly 19 lakh people left out.

It is significant to note that state government had said 200 new Foreigners Tribunals would be set up immediately after the publication of the NRC.

Pointing out that at present 100 tribunals are functioning, security sources said that fate of 200 new foreigners tribunal was still hanging in balance. The High Court had recruited members to head these tribunal but their future is also uncertain.

The necessity of more foreigners tribunal was felt as persons, whose names have not been included in the NRC, can file petitions before the Foreigners Tribunals to claim their citizenship and it was apprehended that majority of the persons whose names were left out of the NRC would file petitions.

Security sources said that the persons whose names did not appear in the NRC, would be able to file applications within 120 days of receiving the certified copies of the ‘rejection slips’ that will have detailed reasons for rejection of their application for inclusion of names by the office of the state NRC coordinator.

Though the final NRC was published on August 31 in which the names of 19 lakh applicants were left out, it is still not known when the office of the State NRC Coordinator would start issuing the rejection slips.

It is significant that the NRC Coordinator’s Office had earlier announced that the ‘rejection slips’ would be issued within a month from the date of publication of the final NRC. But later, the state NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela was transferred to MP following an SC order and the new coordinator is yet to start the process.

Claiming that NRC authorities are yet to start issuing rejection slips, security sources argued that there is no point making new Tribunals functional till the NRC Coordinator starts issuing the rejection slips.

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