Assam NRC: What next for 1.9 million ‘stateless’ Indians?

India puts 1.9m people at risk of statelessness

India has published the final version of a list which effectively strips about 1.9 million people in the north-eastern state of Assam of their citizenship. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list of people who can prove they came to the state by 24 March 1971, the day before neighbouring Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan.

So have 1.9 million people effectively become stateless?

Not quite. Residents excluded from the list can appeal to the specially-formed courts called Foreigners Tribunals, as well as the high court and Supreme Court.

However, a potentially long and exhaustive appeals process will mean that India’s already overburdened courts will be further clogged, and poor people left out of the list will struggle to raise money to fight their cases.

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