More than 4 million excluded from Indian citizenship in controversial registry

Hannah Rogers
August 3, 2018

The draft will be published at 12 pm at all the NRC Sewa Kendras (NSK) across the state and applicants can check their names in the list which will include the applicant's name, address and photographs, NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela said.

It was a no business day in the Rajya Sabha again on Wednesday as the protests by Trinamool Congress (TMC) and other opposition parties continued for the second day over National Register of Citizen in Assam forcing the Speaker to adjourn the house.

Hours after the Rajya Sabha was disrupted over the NRC issue, Shah held a press conference in the national capital and declared that the over 40 lakh people left out of the NRC were illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators and were liable to be ousted from the country.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the Indian citizens whose names are not included in Monday's list need not worry. Effectively, the goal of the process is to determine who in Assam are genuine Indian citizens and who are illegal immigrants.

The government said the draft was not meant to drive people out and those not on the list would be able to reapply in a process overseen by India's Supreme Court.

The first list of the NRC process was released in December 31 past year, in which around 1.9 crore people out of the total applications of 3.29 crore people were included.

The draft list incorporated the names of almost 2.89 crore individuals out of the 3.29 crore applicants, leaving out more than 40 lakh applicants from the final draft. No genuine Indian citizen should have any fear'. Almost all were Muslim and many were children.

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"Every individual of Assam state will be given adequate time and opportunity to prove his or her claim", the diplomat said, citing the Indian home minister's statement that every individual will get "justice" and will be treated in a "humane manner". It is feared by many including United Nations human rights experts that a significant number of Bangla-speaking Indian Muslims along with some Hindus will not be included in the NRC.

To this, the bench said the government is free to do whatever it wants and the court will examine it. 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.

Tensions over citizenship have been brewing for decades in Assam, resurfacing earlier this year with a government effort to rid the state of "Bengalis" and "foreigners". "This isolation has been done keeping in mind as to who can vote for the BJP and who cannot vote for them", she allged.

Status quo will be observed and no punitive action will be taken based on the draft NRC, he said. "The Home Minister is ready to respond", Naidu said. He has assured me that the government will not harass people.

Sailesh did not provide a breakup of people who had failed to make to the draft list.

"I demand that all the parties should clarify their stand on the issue".

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