For the people of Assam, it appears that the drama of the National Register of Citizens, or NRC, will not be concluding anytime soon.
Despite the creation of a final NRC under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court of India, the BJP-led governments at the Centre and in the states continue to obstruct its implementation.
The citizenship status of over 19 lakh people whose names did not appear in the final National Register of Citizens released in August 2019 following Supreme Court decisions is at stake.
Nearly three years have gone, but those who have been left out – both Muslims and Hindus – have yet to have their citizenship status addressed.
The issue of immigrants has long been utilized to play political football with the lives of Assamese citizens.
BJP is unwilling to execute the final NRC
The ruling BJP appears to be unwilling to execute the final NRC since the figures do not align with its political goals.
Hitesh Dev Sarma, Assam’s National Register of Citizens coordinator, recently wrote to judges in the Foreigners Tribunals, stating that the National Register of Citizens as published should not be recognized as final, as ordered by the Supreme Court.
Moreover, Mr. Sarma has received a response from at least one of the judges, who has asked him not to interfere with the working of the Tribunals, which is beyond his power.
So, what’s next for the National Register of Citizens and those affected by it?