GUWAHATI: Assam had the lowest average decadal population growth rate of 20.90 per cent in the Northeast from 1971 to 2011, said a Rights body and Risks Analysis Group.
Releasing its report, "Foreigners in Assam a Blast from the Past", the group said during the period in Northeast, Nagaland had the highest average decadal population growth rate of 42.52 per cent, followed by Mizoram with 35.14 per cent, Arunachal Pradesh with 31.25 per cent, Meghalaya with 30.88 per cent, Manipur with 27.78 per cent and Tripura with 24.27 per cent
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam is being updated based on March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date.
The rights body said as per the decadal variation in population since 1901 to 2011 of the Census of India, from 1901 to 1971, Assam’s average decadal population growth rate was 23.9 per cent against the All India average decadal population growth rate of 12.90 per cent.
"For a period of 70 years (1901 to 1971), the average decadal growth rate of population in Assam (23.95 per cent) was almost double of All India (12.90 per cent) and it changed the demographic character of Assam. But, the All Assam Students' Union had accepted the immigrants of this period as citizens of India under the Assam Accord," the group’s director Suhas Chakma said.
The Census of India's Decadal Variation in Population Since 1901 to 2011 also states that Assam has consistently registered lower decadal population growth than All India during 1971 to 2011 and the state recorded average decadal population growth rate of 20.90 per cent against All India’s average national decadal population growth rate of 21.94 per cent during the same period, he said.
Chakma said if abnormal population growth rate as reflected in census reports is the determinant for identifying influx of foreigners, Assam had not witnessed any noticeable influx of foreigners in the post-1971 period.
"There is no plausible basis to consider that the average decadal population growth rate in Assam would be 5.3% less than that of All India’s average decadal population growth rate from 1971 to 2018. Assam’s lower average decadal population growth rate than All India and the northeastern states during the period unequivocally suggests that majority of those excluded from the NRC are actually Indian citizens but suffering...as a consequence of mammoth influx of migrants from 1901 to 1971 and due to the absence of documents," Chakma added.