TODAY -

What is the background of NRC and Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950 ?

Mubasir Raji *



Since colonial times, Assam experiences a large scale influx of migrant population from other British dominated regions. Particularly from Bengal a large number of peasants came to Assam in search of fertile lands. British had a friendly attitude towards this migration.

Migration continues unabated for many years but in 1947 British decided to leave their Indian colony after partitioning it into the dominions of India and Pakistan. Partition and the subsequent communal riots led to the increase rate of migration towards Assam from East Pakistan regions.

Realizing the alarming situation the Government of India decided to formulate an Act. They termed the Act as Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950. The Act gave authority to expel illegal immigrants from the soil of Assam. Now the question is how illegal immigrants are going to be identified?

To identify illegal immigrants, the National Register of Citizens was prepared for the first time in Assam during the conduct of 1951 Census. That was how the concept of National Registrar of Citizen (NRC) came for the first time. The idea was to record the particulars of every citizens residing in Assam as a part of Census of 1951 and to subsequently identify illegal immigrants.

The Immigrants Act 1950 was never implemented because the process the NRC could not be completed and illegal immigrants cannot be identified. The process of NRC turns out more complex than the Ministry of Home Affairs would like people to believe.

At that time both India and Pakistan were newly independent nations; the regulation for issuing Visa and passport between the two nations were not clearly spelt out. It was only possible after October 1952.

Another major roadblock before expelling illegal immigrants from the country was Foreigner Act 1946; before 1947 there was no two separate nations called India and Pakistan. Foreigners Act 1947 which gave the definition of a foreigner does not recognized Pakistani nationals as foreigners. In fact the act was amended to include Pakistani Nationals as foreigners only in the year 1957.

In the meanwhile demands to conduct NRC continue to get louder but no concrete steps were taken up by the government till 1965. The government came up with a new plan of issuing Identity cards in the year 1965. The idea was to issue National Identity to all the Indian citizens residing in Assam and to detect illegal immigrants.

The concept of issuing National Identity Card was never clearly formulated and hence in the year 1965 the government of India decided to drop it in consultation with the state government. The idea of issuing National Identity card turns out impractical at that moment.

The issue took a sharp turn in 1971 India won the war against Pakistan that resulted in the birth of Bangladesh. During the war India help Bangladesh to win freedom against Pakistan.

The conflict was a result of the Bangladesh Liberation war, when Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) was fighting to seek freedom from (West) Pakistan. In 1971, Pakistani Army was reported to be committing barbaric crime and atrocities against Bengali speaking population of East Pakistan, particularly the minority Hindu population in East Pakistan.

At that moment former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi decided to take action against Pakistan and at the same time give refuge to civilians from other side of the border. The war of 1971 once again changed complexity of implementing Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act 1950.

In a notification issued by the Government of India in the year 1976, the State government was instructed not to deport persons coming from Bangladesh to India prior to March, 1971. Student leaders in 1979 came out in fierce protest demanding detention, disenfranchisement and deportation of illegal immigrants from Assam.

The historic movement which came to be known as Assam Agitation or Assam Movement was initiated by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) and lasted a span of 6 years. The movement, however, culminated in the signing of the landmark Memorandum of Settlement the Assam Accord. It was signed by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Central and State Governments on August 15, 1985, at the behest of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in New Delhi.

As per the Assam Accord, 1st January 1966 was determined to be the precise date based on which the detention and deletion of illegal immigrants from Assam will take place. It allowed citizenship for all persons coming to Assam from “Specified Territory” before the cut-off date. It further specifies that all persons who came to Assam prior to 1st January 1966 (inclusive) and up to 24th March 1971 (midnight) shall be detected in accordance with the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Foreigners (Tribunals) Order, 1939.

Name of foreigners so detected will be deleted from the Electoral Rolls in force. Such persons will be required to register themselves before the Registration Officers of the respective districts in accordance with the provisions of the Registration of Foreigners Act, 1939 and the Registration of Foreigners Rules, 1939. Foreigners who came to Assam on or after 25th March 1971 shall continue to be detected, deleted and expelled in accordance with law.

The process of detecting and expelling immigrants never officially took place even Assam Accord. The issue was ultimately taken up by the Supreme Court of India. Following two writ petitions by Assam Public Works and Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha & Organization the Supreme Court in 2013, headed by the bench of Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohintan Fali Nariman, and directed the Union Government and the State Government to complete the update of NRC. Since then issue has became a hot topic.

Since December 2014, the Supreme Court bench of Justice Gogoi and Justice Nariman took up regular hearings to supervise the NRC update, entertain requests for extensions and decide which documents could be admitted as evidence of citizenship.

The issue seems extremely murky at the moment. To be included in the NRC one has to identify an ancestor whose name appears in either the NRC of 1951 or a pre-1971 electoral roll, and provide documentary evidence of linkage with that person. Even with the substantial assistance available at the NRC Seva Kendras, this can be a challenge for many people.

Consider a person who lives in Assam but was not born in the State. In order to process his or her legacy data, NRC officials have had to make as many as 600,000 requests for “legacy verification” to various State governments. The response from them has been poor and tardy. Some States responded to less than 1 per cent of the requests.

More than 100,000 requests for legacy verification were made to the West Bengal government, but the NRC authorities received responses only in 6.5 per cent of the requests. The history of the reorganization of Assam has also complicated the process.

The relevant records of some current residents of Assam, for example, could be in an office in Shillong, which was the capital of undivided Assam but is now under the jurisdiction of the Meghalaya State administration. In other words, the verification of legacy data would depend on the cooperation of an office under the jurisdiction of another State government.


* Mubasir Raji wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at mubasirraji(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on August 30, 2019.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Chothe Achui Lin festival #1
  • Chengpi, Kentaliu, Atomacha :: eMing
  • Lady E-Rickshaw driver inspires women..
  • M Shanker: Indian Achievers Award 2019
  • Softly Coo the Wild Pigeons :: Poem
  • Discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement
  • Irabot, one & only leader of oppressed mass
  • Start-up Manipur as a potential launch pad
  • Culture Students Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Territorial Integration, Flag or Constitution
  • Book published on Irabot Day: Download
  • In love with the night :: Poem
  • Maverick mind of Ram - Dedicated to Bar
  • Smoking- silent killer for your backbone
  • Revisiting Sept. 21 (1948 & 1949)
  • Where All The Flowers Gone? #1: Gallery
  • BCIM Corridor & China New Transportation
  • Alzheimer's Awareness Month
  • Cry of a Dying River - 93 :: Poem
  • Rally & Youth's Voice on Climate Change
  • Guwahati to Bangkok : Direct Flight
  • Stringent traffic rules in place
  • Time for immediate solution to climate crisis
  • Traditional Dress of Hmar : Gallery
  • Licypriya @UNESCO Forum, Angola: Gallery
  • World Ozone Day and Langban Tarpan
  • Protection of Land in Tamenglong: Meeting
  • Licypriya Kangujam at UNESCO : Report
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • ADBU Community Computer Education
  • Film- Hugo screening [Upd]
  • Being on the transit route of drugs
  • On the demand for ST status...
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Machengluang cleared Tamei road
  • Scrapping of Constitution Article, 35 & 370
  • Her Kitchen :: Poem
  • Career in journalism
  • BMSA Freshers' Meet : Thanks Giving
  • Mass Awareness for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Need for JAC & school to act reasonably
  • Traffic Challans & other challenges
  • Hinduism in Manipur #3
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #2
  • Loneliness :: Poem
  • Let Road Users have their say ..
  • RIST Talk: Binary Recurrence Sequences
  • Racial profiling & criminalization of people
  • ZPO rejects its dissolution
  • 10 houses torched in inter-village dispute
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Attitude to life and family
  • Breaking the glass ceiling
  • 28th NAMA Convention at Chicago
  • Inpui Naga Karing Ngei 2018 : Book
  • Dr. Md. Hamidur Rahaman : AMP Award
  • World Patient Safety Day
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Peace talk reportedly at final stage
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #11
  • 48th Foundation Day of RIMS : Gallery
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead
  • Licypriya : Climate change in Angola
  • World Ozone Day 2019
  • iKON 4th anniversary : Indian iKONIC
  • Gratitude to Dk. Korungthang
  • Xavier Board Higher Education Conference
  • Confusing announcement: ban on plastics
  • Nongpok Sanjenbam village #1: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #4: Gallery
  • Ways of seeing Atiyagi Maya
  • National Lok Adalat at Lamphel Court
  • Take Me Home :: Poem
  • Money Lending business in Nagaland
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Jr Women Natl Boxing
  • Crime against nature deserve punishment
  • Khamba Thoibi Museum #1 : Gallery
  • Time- Is it an illusion? Certainly not
  • Can there really be peace without justice
  • Enrollment Program for PMJAY & CMHT
  • Heavy traffic fines, Harekrishna krishna
  • Jenil Khuman : Heroes of India award
  • Cracking the whip on driving by minors
  • ST demand: Is this a consensus decision..
  • Mukna - indigenous game : Gallery
  • An interaction with Dr. O.K. Singh #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 92 :: Poem
  • Missing person : Dongminlian at Tirupati
  • Google Earth for ground & aerial survey
  • Mary Kom 1st woman athlete for Vibhushan
  • Delivering a point maturely
  • There should be a toll free grievance cell
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #1: Gallery
  • Shrinking safe spaces
  • Child sexual abuse (CSA)
  • Demands: Flag for Naga & ST for Meitei
  • Proud of our scientists & ISRO
  • Daanveer Dutta Karna : 2nd best play
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Significance of Sept 11 to TSE
  • Climate Crisis, People, and the State
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #3: Gallery
  • Conundrum for Manipur govt over CAB
  • Violence against medical fraternity
  • Thongkhatabam Ankita : Governor's Award
  • The Enchantress :: Poem
  • Sunyata & Kenosis: Search of Ultimate Truth
  • Lim divide continues to run deep
  • Of nationalism, patriotism & against nature
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Students Day @B'lore : Gallery
  • Protective Thinking: Village Nationalist #1
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #3
  • Ungracious :: Poem
  • IAS Officer: Hero- Whipping boy- Villain
  • Petition CM to revoke breach order in Edn-S
  • Stand against illegal immigrants
  • September and Hijam Irabot
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #3
  • Kakching WW II Memorial Run : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: Divide the state
  • Training Program for Remand Advocates
  • Hunt for North East designers & models
  • Kakching World War II Memorial Run: Report
  • Common Admission Test for IIMs
  • No school bags day for young students
  • GoI backtracking on Framework Agreement
  • Trekking to Dzukou #3 : Gallery
  • English as a Lingua Franca for NE
  • A Good Place to Spend the Night : Poem
  • The idea of Manipur
  • Vacancies at Hadron Techs, Imphal
  • 8th Convocation of Assam Don Bosco held
  • Yogurt based DIY packs to try
  • Big Bang Edge Test
  • Bhabananda was right; it was not only him ..
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3: Gallery
  • Judicial administration under Bhagyachandra
  • Reena Bhavsar(Pebam ningon): Mrs India
  • Sick Education System should be blamed ...
  • Foundation Day of Physics Dept, MU
  • 26th World Congress of Political Science
  • DBC, Maram bags SBSI National award
  • Regulate pay of Pvt school teachers
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #1 : eRang
  • The Endurers : a growing tribe
  • Swachh in Manipur
  • Khongoinaba & Kanglei Chanura Kanba
  • The ten in between :: Poem
  • Happy for no reason
  • Convocation: Assam Don Bosco University
  • Sounding the alert at the entry points:
  • Victims of greed
  • Folk Dance @Retreat ceremony #2: Gallery
  • Call for Papers : NACETER 2019 at Aizawl
  • Celebrating Teachers' Day 2019
  • Draft Bill on violence against healthcare
  • From the heart - Transcending fears
  • Her Richness :: Poem
  • Licypriya: Peace Prize : Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang: A Social reformer #2
  • Licypriya : World Children Peace Prize
  • Manipur Tourism: Best cultural Award at TTF
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 2
  • Khelen Thokchom Media Fellowship
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2: Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Maibi Jagoi : Gallery
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #10
  • September Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Freshers Meet/Musical Night at Bangalore
  • Remembering the past famine...
  • Stalls- Hathei Phanit, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang: Gallery
  • Chinglensana Kangujam : Arjuna Award
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #1: Gallery
  • Manipur Independence Day : Gallery
  • Kariang nuna sip eh :: Poem
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #2
  • Introspecting renewed Hydropower push #1
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Khangkhui Cave, Ukhrul #5 : Gallery
  • N'Jang-Ngi Thangal fest : Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Nabadwip, WB : Gallery
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #2 : Gallery
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #2: Gallery
  • Patriots' Day @ Pune : Gallery
  • Folklore of Hao communities #3
  • Aliyah #2 (Film Scenes) :: eRang
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #3: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • SPONSORED ADS