New Delhi Correspondent
A petition has been moved in India’s Supreme Court seeking updation of a National Register of Citizens (NRC) to identify “illegal” immigrants in Tripura state like in neighbouring Assam.
Acting on that petition, the apex court on Monday sought a response from the Indian government. A bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, considered the petition filed by Indigenous Tripura People’s Front seeking registration of citizens of Tripura in the NRC to identify illegal immigrants.
The petition contends that there has been a huge uncontrolled influx of immigrants from Bangladesh over the past five decades which has changed the demographics of the state. It stated that Tripura, which was predominantly a tribal state, has now become a non-tribal one.
The petition sought that the NRC with respect to Tripura be updated in terms of Rules 3 and 4 of The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 by taking 19. 7. 1948 as the cut-off date.
It further sought establishment of an effective mechanism for the detection of illegal immigrants in the state and to set up appropriate numbers of Foreigners Tribunal in terms The Foreigners (Tribunals) Orders,1964.
The petition pointed out that the move to update NRC for Assam was initiated following interventions of the Supreme Court.
After a meeting with the Front leaders here last, week Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh had ruled out NRC in Tripura.
Complying with a directive by the top court, the Indian government had on July 30 published a final draft NRC list in Assam in which names of 4.7 million people were left out. Assam, which has faced influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only Indian state having an NRC which was first prepared in 1951.