Assam NRC release: CM Sarbananda Sonowal calls it a historic day

Assam NRC final list released 40 lakh risk losing citizenship

"Saying they will be a given a chance to prove their citizenship is easy but doing so isn't so easy for them", said social activist Prashant Bora from Guwahati, the capital of Assam.

The citizenship test is the culmination of years of often violent agitations by Assamese demanding the removal of outsiders they accuse of taking jobs and cornering resources in the state of 33 million, known for its tea estates and oil fields. Majority settled in Assam. We are trying to tell them they might have missed out because of some reasons such as unsubstantiated documents.

As per the Assam Accord, an agreement signed by then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1985, all those who can not prove that they came to the north-eastern state before 24 March 1971, will be deleted from electoral rolls, and expelled. "To be included in the list, residents of the state had to apply and submit proof that they or their ancestors were in the 1951 NRC or any subsequent voter list till the cut-off date".

Soldiers stood guard at government offices, where thousands of people queued to check their names on the so-called National Register of Citizens (NRC), Reuters witnesses said. "The publication of the complete draft will go a long way in achieving what an agitation (against illegal migrants from 1979-1985) nearly four decades ago had sought to". "Hence there is no need to panic", Singh said in parliament.

Prateek Hajela said, "It's a historic day in the country and Assam towards fulfillment of a major milestone of publishing draft under monitoring of Supreme Court".

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The following remark by the Bengal CM comes after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had claimed that the following NRC data is just a draft and the final list will be released in December. "Divide and rule will finish the country", she said.

According to the census, Assam's population rose by 50% between 1970 and 1979, a rise that has mainly come from the Bengali-speaking Muslim population across the border.

The list was uploaded on a government website, but many in remote regions of Assam, who lack internet connectivity, traveled to government booths set up for the exercise to determine their status. There will be huge ramifications of this (Assam NRC). NRC chief Prateek Hajela, whose office has processed 66 million documents and spent almost $180 million in the whole NRC process, declined comment on the religion of people who would be removed from the register.

One of them is Nellie farmer Suban's son Nabi Hussain, 28, who said he has voted in two Indian elections but now fears arrests. "Trust me and as soon as we come to power we will take immediate steps to redress these problems and ensure that justice prevails", he had said.

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