1971 as NRC base year cannot protect Assam’s indigenous, says NGO

  1. Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha (ASM), which is an umbrella organisation of several indigenous ethnic organisations, has said that National Register of Citizens (NRC) cannot protect the indigenous people of the State if 1971 remains the base year for identifying foreigners.
  2. The organization had challenged the constitutional validity of March 25, 1971 as the base year for identifying foreigners. It has demanded that 1951 be set as the base year for determining citizenship.
  3. Citizenship Act, 1955- dealing with acquisition and loss of citizenship in India- was amended in 1985 to incorporate Section 6A. This section fixes March 25, 1971 as the cut-off date for granting citizenship to Bangladeshi migrants in Assam. This was one in accordance to the Assam accord. While for rest of India the date of detection and deportation of foreigners in 1951.
  4. Assam Accord is a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement- a movement against illegal immigrants in Assam.
  5. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register which contains the name of all citizens of India residing in Assam. The process of NRC update in Assam has been taken up as per a Supreme Court order in 2013. The deadline of submitting the final NRC is August 31st.