Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday said the state government supported the implementation of National Register of Citizens, and will approach the Centre for the same, PTI reported. His statement came a fortnight after more than 19 lakh people were excluded from the final list of the updated citizens’ database in Assam.

The chief minister said they have already approved a resolution for a National Register of Citizens exercise in the state.

“We and many of the states in the north east need NRC,” Singh said at the fourth conclave of the North-East Democratic Alliance, a version of the National Democratic Alliance in the region. “The Manipur government has already taken a decision in the cabinet to have NRC.”

Singh said the Centre has a “very clear message” that no illegal immigrant will be allowed to stay anywhere in the country. Earlier in the day, Home Minister Amit Shah said at the conclave that the Centre planned to expel all illegal immigrants from the country and not just Assam.

On the implementation of the NRC exercise in the state, Singh said: “It will be done through the central government. Assam is doing it under the supervision of the Supreme Court. So we are requesting the central government and it will be done by them.”

The Assam NRC, published on August 31, left out around 6% of the state’s entire population, two times the number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, and the population of Nagaland. They will now have to appeal against the decision in foreigners’ tribunals. The final NRC was criticised by the Bharatiya Janata Party, with state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and the party’s state President Ranjit Dass rejecting it. While Sarma said the Supreme Court should allow reverification of names on the list, Dass said the party did not trust the final list.

A “people’s tribunal” has also pointed out flaws in the Supreme Court’s role in the compilation of Assam’s National Register of Citizens. The tribunal, which held its discussions over the weekend in Delhi, observed that the top court’s role had raised important constitutional concerns. It said the Supreme Court judgement that paved the way for the NRC exercise had relied upon “unverified, and now disproved, data to hold that migration amounted to ‘external aggression’ upon India”. In doing so, the court “in effect, dehumanised migrants and infringed their rights to liberty and dignity”, the tribunal said.

Also read:

How Assam’s National Register of Citizens counted people – from 2015 to 2019

Read the stories of those who are most affected by the NRC exercise in our series: The Final Count.

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