Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Muslims to suffer most as India strips 4m of citizenship

Muslims to suffer most as India strips 4m of citizenship

Speaking at a press conference after the launch of the final draft list, Sailesh, the Registrar General-and Census Commissioner of India, attempted to calm fears, suggesting that the State government would begin a period of "claims and objections".

Rajya Sabha on Wednesday witnessed uproar by members of the Congres on remarks by BJP chief Amit Shah during the discussion over the National Register for Citizens (NRC) in Assam on Tuesday, forcing adjournment of the House till 1200 hours.

Amid heated debate over NRC exercise in Assam, BJP leader Naresh Agarwal said today that it should be extended to all states in the country, as illegal Bangladeshi migrants are living in various parts of the country.

For AASU, those who migrated to Assam during Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan in 1971 are "illegal citizens".

A high alert has also been sounded along the Assam-Bengal border after the final draft of the NRC was released on Monday, by the Assam government.

The first draft of the ongoing NRC process was released on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1, wherein the names of 1.9 crore of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated.

The draft list, which was released on Monday, has left out almost 40 lakh people in Assam, incorporating names of 2.89 crore people out of 3.29 crore applicants.

"We are genuine Indian citizens, and maybe there were some technical problems", he said.

Assam has been in the grip of social and communal tension as locals campaign against "illegal immigrants".

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Many residents of Assam have long protested against the presence of "foreigners", which include both Hindus and Muslims.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured that no coercive action would be taken against those whose names were excluded from the final draft list.

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

"Indian authorities need to move swiftly to ensure the rights of Muslims and other vulnerable communities in Assam are protected from statelessness", she said in a statement. 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. Millions of people can not be thrown out of citizenship at a stroke. Many of these stateless citizens might try to enter other state which in turn has potential to create law and order problem.

The state government has put stringent security in place while the chief minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, has told Indian media that those finding themselves stateless overnight should not worry.

The applicants can check their names in the draft by visiting their respective designated NRC Sewa Kendra (NSK) which will be available on all working days from 10 am to 4 pm from July 30 to September 28.

"For BJP the matter of NRC is an issue of national security".

Of the 40 lakh people who did not make it to the NRC, 2.48 lakh have been marked as doubtful or "D" voters by the Election Commission.

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