India has excluded 1.9 million people from its citizens in the final version of a published list in the north-eastern state of Assam.
India’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list of people who are able to prove that they came to the state by 24 March 1971, the day before Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan.
The excluded people have 120 days to appeal against their exclusion but as at now, it is not clear what their fate is.
India has already detained thousands of suspected foreigners in temporary camps which are in prisons but has no plans of deportation yet .Authorities say the process is needed to identify illegal Bangladeshi migrants.
The process has also sparked criticism of “witch hunts” against Assam’s ethnic minorities.
The NRC was created in 1951 to determine who was born in Assam and is therefore Indian, and who might be a migrant from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Residents in the state required to provide documents to show their lineage, while those who cannot provide proof are deemed illegal migrants.However, the excluded residents can appeal to courts called Foreigner Tribunals formed for this purpose as well as to High and Supreme courts.
If people lose their appeals in higher courts, they could be detained indefinitely.
Assam is one India’s multi-ethnic states and the question of identity and citizenship have long been an issue there.
Majority of 32 million residents are Muslims, the second-highest number after Indian-administered Kashmir. Many of them are descendants of immigrants who settled there under British rule.