The Shiv Sena has firmly thrown its weight behind the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) final list for Assam which was released on Saturday and held that 3.11 crore people had been deemed eligible while 19 lakh were excluded, with the latter number falling from the 41 lakh who had been excluded from the draft list published a year earlier.
Speaking to reporters, senior Shiv Sena leader and union minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arvind Sawant said, “You must think about how serious this subject is. The steps taken by the government have brought safety, unity, and integrity to our nation."
Sawant continued by speaking on the matter of illegal immigrants, contending "The people of the neighbouring countries have been trying to disturb the measures taken by the government by migrating to India. The protests taking place in Assam were regarding the same issue which caused unrest between the migrants and the locals. NRC will reveal how many people are migrants from neighbouring countries and we shall take steps against it.”
On August 31 Assam’s state coordinator's office released the final NRC list wherein 19,06,657 people, including those who have remained out of the process, have been found to ineligible. Meanwhile 3,11,21,004 Assam residents have kept in the list. The NRC process aims to separate genuine Indian citizens from illegal immigrants, as per a decades-old demand and movement which has been ratified by the Supreme Court. As per NRC terms, ‘a resident has to prove that they or their ancestors entered Assam before midnight on March 24, 1971. Anyone failing to do so will be declared a foreigner.’
However, not making it to the NRC at this stage doesn't mean that one is a 'foreigner'. There are numerous recourses available and only a foreigners tribunal (FT) can declare a person as a foreigner. People in Assam who have been excluded from the list can apply for an appeal in the court from 60 to 120 days. The appeal can be made in FT and later in the High Court and Supreme Court if the individual loses the appeal.