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Assam Transgender to move to Supreme Court seeking inclusion of names in the NRC

On 22 July, a file will be filed in the Supreme Court by the Transgender people in Assam, seeking help to ensure that their names are included in the National Register of Citizens (NRC), as reported on Sunday.

The NRC update in Assam began in 2015 to create a definitive list of citizens of the state and root out the illegal immigrants hailing from Bangladesh. The list is being updated for the first time since the year 1951. On first January, the government of Assam published the first report on the NRC-a list of verified Indian citizens-at midnight, and has  verified over 1.9 crores of people out of the 3.29 crore who had applied. The final draft of the NRC is expected to be published by 30 July.

Swati Bidhan Baruah, President of All Assam Transgenders’ Association, said that many Transgenders were compelled to leave their homes owing to social stigma still prevalent in the society. He said that the Transgenders chased out of their home cannot go back to fetch documents required for the NRC since, many have changed their gender, and they are confused about how to fill up the NRC forms.

According to Baruah, though there is an option of ‘others’ in the application, it is still unclear what documents they have to submit in support of their being transgender. He also mentioned that they have to inform the Supreme Court of all these problems and request a special provision for them.

However, the NRC officials have said that they cannot include any names without the required documents. Whose names did not appear in the final draft will have the opportunity to file claims after the publications of the final draft, said the official.