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India could strip 4 million of citizenship in northeast region

01 Agosto, 2018, 03:19 | Autor: Salvatore Moron
  • Prateek Hajela State Coordinator NRC

The legally-binding list is being updated for the first time since 1951 to recognize Indian citizens living in Assam and identify those not legally living in the state.

Abdul Suban, a farmer, and his wife pose for a photograph outside their home in Nellie village, in Morigaon district, in the northeastern state of Assam, India.

BJP president Amit Shah today, while addressing a press conference, said no Indian should be anxious about Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC), asserting that names of genuine citizens will not be deleted. "There are so many people whose names are not there", she said.

The Congress today questioned the non-inclusion of over 40 lakh people in the complete draft of the NRC and alleged it was a "motivated" action by the BJP which was trying to play "politics of polarisation".

"If the government has chose to brand us foreigners what can we do?"

"The NRC is trying to finish us off".

"We don't want any person to be driven out of the country".

"In this regard, the court would like to observe that what has been published being a draft NRC, it cannot be the basis for any action by any authority", it said, allaying fears among members of the minority community that they could face immediate deportation proceedings. "Opposition is politicising this issue for vote-bank politics".

Migrants have since been accused of illegally entering the state and taking land and jobs, causing tensions with locals.

More than 30 million people had applied to be included on the list, of whom just over four million were excluded from the draft published on Monday, said Mr Shailesh, the registrar general of India, who uses one name. 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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Assam PCC President Ripun Bora hoped that the Centre would implement in letter and spirit Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's statement that no genuine citizen would be left out.

Outside parliament, her regional All-India Trinamool Congress led a protest by lawmakers from seven political parties, who held placards demanding "Stop this divide and rule policy" and "Why have Indian citizens become refugees in their own country?"

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.

Under the BJP government, which came to power in 2016, some 15,000 people were declared foreigners past year alone - which means more than 1,000 per month.

Mr. Gandhi maintained that the NRC was initiated by the UPA under Manmohan Singh to fulfil the commitment made in the Assam Accord.

Officials said security had been tightened across the state as thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims worry about being sent to detention centres or deported.

"People who understand the system have not created any chaos".

There are around 125,000 "D" voters and more than 131,000 cases pending in the Foreigners' Tribunal.

'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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