NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday sought response from the Centre on a plea seeking implementation of the national register for citizens (NRC) in Tripura to identify illegal immigrants in the state.
A bench comprising Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph considered the petition filed by Tripura People's Front seeking registration of citizens of Tripura in the NRC to identify illegal immigrants.
A state-based organisation, Dopha Yoksama Bodol, has also filed a similar plea on the issue.
The Centre had on July 30 published a second draft NRC list of Assam in which out of 3.29 crore people, names of 2.89 crore were included.
The first draft of the NRC for Assam was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.
Assam, which has faced an influx of people from Bangladesh since the early 20th century, is the only state having an NRC, which was first prepared in 1951.
The plea claimed the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh into Tripura has caused huge demographic changes in the state.
Tripura, which was a predominantly tribal state, has become a non-tribal state and the indigenous people who were once the majority have now become a minority in their own land, it said.
"The petitioners submit that it is very necessary to update the NRC in Tripura and also to detect and identify the illegal immigrants/non-citizens of India and deport them so that the socio-economic, socio-political and socio-cultural equilibrium is restored," it said.
It has been a consistent demand of the indigenous tribal people of Tripura to identify and deport Bangladeshi immigrants, introduce an Inner Line Permit (ILP) system to restrict their entry to tribal autonomous council areas, restore alienated tribal lands and include Kokborok language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.
"The state has virtually done nothing till date to detect and deport those illegal immigrants who have entered Tripura," the plea alleged and added, "it is very necessary to update the NRC in Tripura, detect the illegal immigrants/non-citizens of India and delete them from the voters' list".
The plea has sought updation of the National Register of Citizens with respect to Tripura in terms of Rules 3 and 4 of The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003.
It said that July 19, 1948 can be taken as the cut-off -- as provided for in Article 6 of the Constitution -- date for this purpose.