India effectively strips four million of citizenship in Assam

Wednesday, 01 Aug, 2018

"This is an internal issue for Assam and India, Bangladesh has nothing to do with it". "We must behave responsibly and in a dignified manner", Naidu said while urging members to get back to their seats. Around 40 lakh people have been left out of the list. Hundreds of Bengali-speaking Muslims whose nationality is suspect are living in half a dozen detention camps in Assam state.

Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal state, called the list part of the central government's "divide-and-rule policy" and said it would make people "refugees" in their own country, according to NDTV.

The NRC will include the names of all Indian citizens who have been residing in Assam before March 25, 1971.

Linguistic and religious minority organisations said there were scores of people whose ancestors figured in the 1951 NRC, but were missing from the updated register 67 years later.

Many people had expected that a correct NRC draft will be published, but that has not been done, he said adding the BJP government in the state has not given any actual figure of foreigners in Assam till today. The situation can not be tolerated.

State Congress general secretary OP Mishra had earlier told The Indian Express, "We have sent the report to New Delhi and are awaiting a response".

The issue rocked Parliament as well.

The NRC office, however, told the Supreme Court this month that 150,000 people from the first list, a third of them married women, would be dropped from the next one, mainly because they provided false information or gave inadmissible documents.

Slamming Shah for his statement in the Rajya Sabha, accusing the opposition of allegedly trying to protect the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, the party said they believe in spreading malice and creating divisions in society.

India effectively strips four million of citizenship in Assam
India effectively strips four million of citizenship in Assam

However, Banerjee has maintained all along that the federal front will comprise of non-BJP and non-Congress parties, effectively shutting the door on the Rahul Gandhi-led party.

Trinamool Congress members also sought to raise the issue. "Indian politics is about tolerance", she said.

Joining the row, BSP president Mayawati condemned the exclusion of over 40 lakh people and demanded an all-party meeting on it. It is to be noted that the first draft was released on December 31, 2017, which had excluded 1.39 crore people.

"We have to stage a protest together irrespective of our political colour".

This was not the final NRC and "we should wait for the final publication of the NRC", he said.

Yet India has no repatriation treaty with Bangladesh, said Nanigopal Mahanta, head of the political science department at Gauhati University in Assam, noting the message from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was clear. The Congress party keeps changing its stand.

The BJP's three MLAs were not present in the House during the discussion on the motion.

India's registrar general Shailesh, who only goes by one name, said appeals can be lodged by the end of September along with supporting documentation.

About 29 million people have been found eligible for inclusion in the citizenship document from around 33 million applicants, he said.