People left off the NRC are not “stateless” and will continue to enjoy all the rights as before till they exhaust all the remedies available under the law, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Sunday.
It said exclusion from the NRC has no implication on the rights of an individual resident in Assam and that they will not be deprived of any rights or entitlements which they have enjoyed before.
The MEA’s comments came in the wake of commentaries in sections of the foreign media about certain aspects of the final NRC which it said are “incorrect”.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been prepared to identify Indian citizens living in Assam since March 24, 1971 or before. Out of 3.3 crore applicants, over 19 lakh people were excluded from the final NRC published on Saturday.
“Exclusion from the NRC has no implication on the rights of an individual resident in Assam. “For those who are not in the final list will not be detained and will continue to enjoy all the rights as before till they have exhausted all the remedies available under the law,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.
“It does not make the excluded person stateless. It also does not make him or her a foreigner, within the legal meaning of the term. They will not be deprived of any rights or entitlements which they have enjoyed before,” he added.
State of Assam has assured provision of free legal assistance to any person excluded from the NRC list and who is unable to afford such legal help. It is to enable people, especially disadvantaged sections, to have access to best possible legal assistance.