Four million in Indian state risk losing citizenship

01 August, 2018, 02:15 | Author: Carlos George
  • Assam NRC Reuters new

"I told her that draft NRC had been published in accordance with the provisions of Assam Accord and as per decisions taken in a tripartite meeting on Feb 05'05 between the Centre, State Government of Assam and All Assam Students Union to update NRC, 1951", Singh said as per ANI report. The main issue seems to be with respect to religion, language and demographics as a whole not just for Assam but for the country as a whole.

A debate over citizenship has erupted as the final draft of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was released for Assam on Monday, with more than 40 lakh people being left out.

The final national register containing the names of only Indian nationals after weeding out illegal migrants will be published after the disputed claims are settled.

"If the government has chose to brand us foreigners what can we do?" said Abdul Suban, 60, a Bengali-speaking Muslim, earlier.

Assam, where one third of the population is Muslim, is the only Indian state to compile a register of citizens.

"We have beefed up security along the Assam-Tripura border, apprehending infiltration of people from the neighbouring state". Until then, no one will be declared an illegal migrant. Sukhendu Sekhar Roy of the Trinamool Congress said their leader Mamata Banerjee wants the NRC to be withdrawn. Making clear its intention to finalise the draft NRC in due course, the bench said: "We permit the concerned ministry of the Union government to frame modalities and place it before the court for dealing with claims and objections so as to enable publication of final NRC".

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The BJP said the NRC was monitored by the country's top court and there was no question of discriminating on the basis of religion.

The tea-rich state of 33 million people has been racked by waves of violence for decades as residents, including indigenous tribes, have clashed with both Hindu and Muslim settlers, whom they accuse of plundering resources and taking away jobs. Roy said a "misconception" was being spread among the people that the exercise was being conducted in accordance with the Supreme Court's directive.

Hundreds of Bengali-speaking Muslims whose nationality is suspect are already living in half a dozen detention camps in Assam state. "This divide-and-rule policy will finish the country", she said at a press conference in Kolkata, alleging that it was a "gameplan" to isolate and "throw out of the state" Bengali-speaking people and Biharis. NRC chief Prateek Hajela, whose office has processed 66 million documents and spent almost $180 million in the whole NRC process, declined comment on the religion of people who would be removed from the register. These include D-voters (doubtful voters who have been disenfranchized as they could not prove citizenship), descendants of D-voters, and cases pending before the foreigners' tribunal. Sociological experts said the there is still a long way to go before the problem of illegal immigrants is "actually resolved", and that the final citizens' registry - to be made public in December 2018 - could have a significant political impact.

"We are scared", said Hussain, his wife looking on from their mud-coated bamboo house, their nine-month-old daughter in her arms.

'They are openly threatening to get rid of Muslims, and what happened to the Rohingya in Myanmar, could happen to us here'.



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