NEW DELHI, July 18 - The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is closely monitoring the situation in Assam and trying to ascertain the possible fallout of the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC). However, till date, the Government has not been able to formulate a policy on the future of those whose names will not appear in the final NRC.
Highly placed sources in the MHA told The Assam Tribune that all those whose names would not be included in the final NRC cannot be termed as foreigners straight away and there is every possibility that the burden on the Foreigners� Tribunals would increase substantially after the publication of the NRC. Sources pointed out that after the publication of the NRC, a large number of people, whose names would not appear in the citizenship document, would approach the Tribunals, while, the law enforcing agencies would also be able to file cases against such persons in the Tribunals.
Sources pointed out that in such a scenario, the burden on the Tribunals would increase considerably. The State now has 100 Tribunals set up under the provisions of the Foreigners� Act but a huge number of cases are now pending before the Tribunals. Sources said that the Government might have to set up additional Tribunals to expedite the process of disposal of the cases. If the State Government sends a proposal for setting up additional Tribunals, the Centre would be ready to extend required assistance, financial or otherwise, to do so to ensure that the cases are disposed of as soon as possible, sources asserted.
On the other hand, the Centre is also monitoring the law and order situation as there is apprehension that certain elements might try to create trouble following the publication of the NRC. MHA sources said that the State Government is keeping a close watch on the situation, while, the Centre, on its part, is holding regular meetings with the State Government to assess the situation. The Centre has already sent additional forces to the State to deal with any potential trouble mongers and more forces would be sent if required to ensure that the State remains peaceful after the publication of the NRC, sources added.
However, sources admitted that till date, the Government has not been able to formulate a clear cut policy on the fate of those whose names would not appear in the NRC. Sources admitted that the Government would have a major issue to deal with if names of substantial number of persons are not included in the NRC and it would have to formulate a policy to deal with them before the publication of the final NRC.
It may be mentioned here that 3.29 crore people applied for inclusion of their names in the NRC and names of 1.90 crore persons appeared in the first draft published on December 31. However, of those persons, names of 1.50 lakh would not appear in the final draft to be published on July 30 as during the family tree verification, it was found that they are not eligible to be included in the NRC.