ANINDITA DASGUPTA | Ever since the time of Independence, the constant political refrain in this pivotal state of the Indian northeast has been the ‘inundation’ it is said to be facing from East Bengali, later Bangladeshi, “illegal” migrants. It was this issue which fuelled the sons–of–soil Assam Agitation of the late 1970s and early 1980s;…
LOOKEAST REPORT |
Nearly 4 million or 40 lakh people in Assam have been left out of a draft list of citizens released today.
They face deportation if they cannot prove their citizenship after submission of claims.
The state’s National Register of Citizens or NRC has been updated for the first time since 1951 to account for illegal migration from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Releasing the updated list, officials underscored that no one would be deported or arrested as this is only a draft. The recount is seen by critics as a move to target Assam’s Muslim population on the pretext of weeding out Bangladeshi migrants. But thousands of Bengali Hindus are also not in the NRC draft list.
I want to clarify that even after the Final NRC, every person will get an opportunity to approach the Foreigners Tribunal: HM
— HMO India (@HMOIndia) July 30, 2018
2.89 crore names have been enlisted in the NRC while 3.29 crores applied.
220 companies of security forces have been deployed in Assam to prevent any unrest over the new list.
I reiterate that no genuine Indian citizen will be devoid of their citizenship rights. So no one should panic after publication of the final draft of NRC. I also urge people not to make any communal statements and remain watchful against falling prey to rumours.
— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) July 29, 2018
Based on this draft no reference case will be sent to the foreigner tribunal or put in a detention centre,” said Satyendra Garg, home ministry officer-in-charge of the northeast. In a statement, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked people to refrain from making “inflammatory” remarks. ■