Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Ruckus in RS over NRC in Assam, House adjourned briefly

Ruckus in RS over NRC in Assam, House adjourned briefly

National Register of Citizens (NRC) officials check the names of the residents in the final list at a NRC Sewa Kendra (NSK).

The Congress on Tuesday accused the BJP of distorting the process of Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) for political gains and lashed out at Amit Shah for deliberately giving a "mischievous twist" to the issue by branding any questions on the exercise as support for illegal Bangladesh immigrants.

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. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday said those people, whose name is not included in the NRC list, need not have to worry because they too have a chance with "claim and objection".

Informing that appropriate security measures were being taken up to check influx of illegal migrants, chief minister N Biren Singh said patrolling along the inter-state border in Jiribam has been intensified for the last few days.

"We didn't expect that such a large number of people will be left out", Ajmal said here after the release of final NRC draft.

The first draft of the NRC, released on December 31, confirmed the citizenship of 19 million people, leading to jubilation for some and heartbreak among others.

Sharma said that since Monday, the Opposition has been demanding a structured debate on the developments after the release of the draft National Register of Citizens.

Mamata gave a befitting reply to the BJP leader Dilip Ghosh who stated that if the saffron party comes to power in West Bengal, they would send the Bangladeshis back. The Bengalis, mostly Muslims, live in the marshy areas of the Brahmaputra River and - even if they do exist - their documents are often inaccurate.

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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.

Rights groups have criticised the government move, saying deletion from citizenship lists was similar to Myanmar's removal of rights and protections for its Rohingya community in 1982.

Speaking at an event in New Delhi, Mamata said, "Only to win polls people can not be victimised". They can not be termed as non-citizens.

The Assam controversy comes as the government looks at amending the citizenship law to allow certain "persecuted minorities", including Hindus and Christians from neighbouring countries, to obtain legal status after six years of residency in India. "I also urge people not to make any communal statements and remain watchful against falling prey to rumours".

It asked Centre to formulate modalities and Standard Operating Procedures, including timelines for deciding the claims and objections arising out of the publication of the draft NRC.

"In this regard, the court would like to observe that what has been published is a complete draft of NRC and it can't be the basis for any action by any authority", the SC recorded in its order.

The issue is likely to fuel more tensions in the state, with political parties, including the ruling BJP, focused on winning the 2019 general elections.

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