On the 31st August, 26-year-old Nirupum Kar, a Bengali-Hindu from Tinsukia, Assam woke up and checked the NRC website. To his disbelief, he discovered that he and his entire family had been excluded from the NRC final list, ultimately rendering them stateless. Despite providing his maternal Grandfather's land documents from 1967, a 1971 voter list showing his Paternal Grandfather’s signatures and an Indian passport, the system still identified him as “illegal”, suddenly deeming him a foreigner in the land he has always called home.

To make it to the current list, names of family members of the applicant should be in the first NRC prepared in 1951 or in the electoral rolls up to the cut off date of 24th March (Midnight) 1971. Nirupum’s whole family including both parents and his brother found out their citizenship status online, which begs to question: How will those without internet access be able to find out whether they had been excluded or not?

Nirupum's Paternal Grandfather's Voter List, dating back to 1971.

Nirupum and his family have 120 days to appeal to the Foreigners Tribunals, however, the tribunals have a history of discriminatory practises towards linguistic and religious minorities. It will cost him and his family up to 30,000 rupees ( £340.43), they have been forced to spend their hard earnings, to prove their status to a system that's purpose is to weed them out.

Nirupum's Maternal Grandfather's Land Documents dating from 1967, which were later sold in 1988.

Appeals are made under section 8 of Schedule to the Citizenship, Rules, 2003. The time limit has been increased from 60 days to 120 days, - till December 31st, 2019. If Nirumpur loses his case in the Foreigners Tribunals, he can move his case to the high court and then the Supreme Court, the government states that no one will be put in detention centres until all legal options have been exhausted.

Nirupum's Indian Passport.

Nirupum's Indian Passport.

However, the state of Assam is setting up ten extra detention centres for those declared foreigners, repatriation does not seem likely as Bangladesh and India do not have any formal agreement, the future seems bleak for millions of others like Nirupum.

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