Assam NRC: From D-voters to foreigners' tribunals, all you need to know about key aspects of National Register of Citizens

  • The final list would contain status of those people whose names were excluded from the final draft released on 30 July, 2018

  • D voter, sometimes also referred to as Dubious voter or Doubtful voter is a category of voters in Assam who are disenfranchised by the state government for lack of proper citizenship credentials

  • The Foreigners' Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies meant to 'furnish opinion' on the question as to whether a person is or is not a foreigner within the meaning of Foreigners Act, 1946

Assam NRC: The final National Register of Citizens (NRC) which is scheduled to be released today (31 August) will be a list of inclusion and exclusion status of applicants whose citizenship claims are under scanner.

The final list would contain status of those people whose names were excluded from the final draft released on 30 July, 2018, and those whose names were in exclusion list released this June 2019.

 Assam NRC: From D-voters to foreigners tribunals, all you need to know about key aspects of National Register of Citizens

Representational image. AFP

Before the final list is out, let's take a look at all the important terms that you should show:  

D-Voters: D voter, sometimes also referred to as Dubious voter or Doubtful voter, is a category of voters in Assam who are disenfranchised by the state government for lack of proper citizenship credentials. They are barred from from contesting elections and casting their votes.

The people who are declared D voters are determined by special tribunals under the Foreigners Act. In 2011, the Gauhati High Court ordered the D voters to be transferred to Foreigners Tribunals, set up under Foreigners Tribunal Order 1964, and be kept in detention camps.

There are around 1.20 lakh doubtful voters. The tag of a D-voter was first used during the preparation of electoral rolls in 1997.

Foreigners' Tribunals: They are the key players in the exercise of identifying illegal immigrants in Assam. The Foreigners' Tribunals are quasi-judicial bodies meant to "furnish opinion on the question as to whether a person is or is not a foreigner within the meaning of Foreigners Act, 1946".

In 1964, the Centre passed the Foreigners' (Tribunals) Order under provisions of Section 3 of the Act. The FTs usually get two kinds of cases - those against whom a "reference" has been made by border police, and those whose names in the electoral rolls have a D-voter tag against them.

Detention Centre: Detention centres in Assam are institutions for short-term detention of undocumented immigrants, refugees and people awaiting trial before a Foreigners Tribunal (FTs).

On 15 June, the Assam government made preparations to construct ten more detention centres in anticipation of a possible requirement to detain illegal foreigners as the release date of the final draft draws closer.

Assam has six detention centres currently which function out of district jails. The first exclusive detention centre is under construction in Goalpara district at cost of around Rs 460 million and a capacity to hold 3,000 persons.

NRC Seva Kendras (NSK): To assist the public in enrolling themselves in the NRC update process, Information Communication Technology (ICT)-enabled help desks known as NRC Seva Kendras (NSKs) were set up across the state. With one help desk being set up per district, each NSK covers an approximate of 2,500 households.

These help desks act as an epicentre for all NRC activities starting from assisting the public in searching the Legacy Data, distribution of Application Form, receipt of Application Form, carrying out all the data entry work, displaying of Draft NRC, etc.

Each NSK is equipped with sophisticated software for Legacy Data Search in three languages – English, Assamese and Bengali.

Final NRC draft: The final draft of NRC was published on 30 July, 2018, which contained the names of 2.89 crore people. The first draft which was published on 31 December, 2017, had names of 1.9 crore citizens living in Assam.

Monitored by the Supreme Court, NRC is updated based on the electoral rolls of 1971.

Assam Accord: Assam had from 1979-1985 witnessed anti-foreigners movement led by All Assam Students Union (AASU). The Assam Accord was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Centre and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on 15 August, 1985.

A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the AASU in 1979. It culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord.

The accord brought an end to the Assam Movement and paved the way for the leaders of the agitation to form a political party and form a government in the state of Assam soon after.

Application Receipt Numbers (ARN) number: The Application Receipt Number or ARN is a 21 digit number or bar code number issued after submission of details to the NRC Seva Kendra or after online submission.

This 21 digit ARN is very important to check your name in the final NRC list.

Also read: Assam NRC final list 2019: Here's how to check if your names have appeared on National Register of Citizens

Updated Date: Aug 31, 2019 00:09:08 IST