Published: Mon, July 30, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

Congress reacts to NRC leaving out 40 lakh people in Assam

Congress reacts to NRC leaving out 40 lakh people in Assam

Suban is one of hundreds of thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims categorized as "doubtful voters", who will not find their names in a National Register of Citizens (NRC) the northeastern border state of Assam will release on Monday.

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.

The arrival of millions of refugees to Assam in 1971 - when Bangladesh seceded from Pakistan after a bloody civil war - brought the issue of these so-called foreigners into national focus. They settled in Assam, which borders the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan to the north and Bangladesh to the south and is home to several rebel groups.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said "original citizens" of the state are being asked questions and this is creating division in the state based on caste and creed. In order to wean out cases of illegal migration from Bangladesh and other adjoining areas, NRC updation was carried out under The Citizenship Act, 1955, and according to rules framed in the Assam Accord.

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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.

"These people will become stateless - their future remains hanging", Mahanta said.

In one of the worst massacres, around 2,000 suspected migrants were butchered in a single day in Nellie in 1983. Over 55, 000 government officials besides technical staff were involved in the process of updating of NRC of 1951 in Assam with March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court of India.

There was no need to panic, Singh said on Monday, adding that those missing from the draft list could re-submit their papers.

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Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said he had requested Home Minister Rajnath Singh to respond to queries on the National Register of Citizens, but the legislators continued to disrupt proceedings.

"There were people who have Aaadhar cards and passports but still their names are not in the draft list". The state is still holding the central forces and they plan to continue that until the entire process is not completed. The document can be accessed online and at all the NRC Sewa Kendras (NSK) across Assam.

The NRC updating process was initiated way back in December 2013 and process of receiving applications started in 2015.

But authorities assured that those who could not make it to the draft list will not face "immediate deportation or be arrested". "Terrible things happened to our family once, we don't want a repeat".

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