Assam NRC deliberate attempt to target Bengalis, Biharis and Hindus: Mamata Banerjee

Hannah Rogers
July 30, 2018

The first NRC draft identified 1.9 crore people as Indian citizens.

The government said those missing from the list would have a chance to resubmit documents between August 30 and September 28, and had the option to appeal at the foreigners' tribunal.

India on Monday stripped four million people of citizenship in the northeastern state of Assam, under a controversial draft citizenship list that has sparked fears of deportation of largely Bengali-speaking Muslims.

In 1983, scores of people were killed by machete-armed mobs intent on hounding out Muslim immigrants.

In 2017, he was served notice by the Foreigners Tribunal - a quasi-judicial court set up to try cases of illegal migrants - to prove his citizenship.

In 2015, the Supreme Court directed the government to update the NRC in a time-bound manner under the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003. He said he was devastated to see families separated and people kept in "jails" indefinitely, some of them over many years. "We can not contact people in Assam".

To be recognized as Indian citizens, all residents of Assam had to produce documents proving that they or their families lived in the country before March 24, 1971.

This issue has triggered anti-foreigner agitation in the state.

Elsewhere in the country's northern heartland, lynchings of Muslim cattle traders have risen under Modi in the country where many Hindus consider cows sacred, further deepening social divides.

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Fearing a backlash, federal and state security forces have been deployed in large numbers across Assam "to maintain law and order", in sensitive areas, Deepak Kumar, an inspector general of police, said over phone.

A new draft register of citizens includes only those able to prove they were in Assam before 1971, when millions fled Bangladesh's war of independence into the state, and their descendants. As per the two statutes, the eligibility status would be ascertained based on the NRC, 1951, Electoral Rolls upto 1971 and in their absence the admissible documents upto 24th March (midnight) 1971.

"I had submitted all requisite documents", he said. A lot of them settled in Assam, which has a near-165-mile (270km) border with Bangladesh.

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

"It is not the right thing to say", Rajnath Singh told the Lok Sabha during Zero Hour.

Political activists in Assam say most of those are Bengali-speaking Muslims.

Assam, a state of 33 million people known for its lush tea estates, has for decades been racked by violence between indigenous tribes and settlers.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, "People whose names don't appear on the final list, they need not worry".

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