Transgender people in Assam will file a petition in the Supreme Court on July 22 seeking its help to ensure that their names are included in the National Register of Citizens, The Telegraph reported on Sunday.
Assam began to update the National Register of Citizens in 2015 to create a definitive list of citizens of the state and root out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. It is being updated for the first time since 1951. The Assam government published the first draft of the National Register of Citizens – a list of verified Indian citizens – at midnight on January 1, and has verified 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore who applied. The final draft is expected to be published by July 30.
All Assam Transgenders’ Association President Swati Bidhan Baruah said, “Many transgenders were compelled to leave their homes owing to the stigma still prevalent in our society. Those chased out of home cannot go back to fetch documents required for the NRC.” Since many have changed their gender, they are confused about how to fill up the NRC application, she added.
“Although there is an option of ‘others’ in the application, there is no clear instruction on what documents they need to submit in support of their being transgenders,” Baruah said. “We will apprise the Supreme Court of all these problems and request a special provision for us.”
National Register of Citizens officials, however, have said that they cannot include any names without the mandatory documents. Those whose names do not figure in the final draft will have the opportunity to file claims after the publication of the final draft, an official said.