Guwahati: As people of Assam await the final NRC list, to be out on August 31, the state government said on Tuesday that it will bear the legal expenses of people who cannot afford to appeal to foreigners’ tribunals for the inclusion of their names in the NRC.

“The state government will make necessary arrangements to provide legal aid to needy people among those excluded from the NRC by providing all assistance through the District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA),” state additional chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said.

The promise of legal assistance comes in the backdrop of apprehension voiced by people who fear they could be left out of the NRC, which many in Assam consider a protective shield for the indigenous people so they are not confined to detention camps or deported to Bangladesh.

Furthermore, two hundred Foreigners’ Tribunals are also being set up shortly for hearing the appeals filed at the designated Foreigners’ Tribunals, which will be notified by the state government very soon. “Another 200 foreigners tribunals will be set up soon and effort is being made to establish them at convenient places so that filing and hearing of appeals are done smoothly and efficiently,” he added.

On August 20, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also held a review meeting regarding arrangements to be made for people to appeal against the non-inclusion in the Assam list. The meeting was attended by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Home Secretary, Chief Secretary of Assam and several other senior officers.

The final list will be published on August 31, as mandated by the Supreme Court, after a plea was filed by the Centre and Assam government for an extension of the deadline by a month.