NEW DELHI – Defying global criticism over the Assam NRC process that specifically targets Muslims, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated in Parliament on Wednesday that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be implemented nationwide.
“The process of National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be carried out across the country. No one, irrespective of religion should be worried, it is just a process to get everyone under the NRC,” said Shah.
He has been pitching for the NRC even as the Assam NRC has been facing flak at national and international level. Recently, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) said that the NRC is a “targeted mechanism to disenfranchise Assam’s Bengali Muslim community, implicitly establishing a religious requirement for citizenship and potentially rendering large numbers of Muslims stateless.”
He informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday that no person, no matter what religion he or she followed, needed to be afraid.
“NRC has no such provision which says that no other religion will be taken under NRC. All citizens of India irrespective of religion will figure in the NRC list. The NRC is different from Citizenship Amendment Bill,” he said.
However, he justified to bring in the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill which excludes Muslims from granting citizenship.
“Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh,Jain, Christian, Parsi refugees should get citizenship,that is why Citizenship Amendment Bill is needed so that these refugees who are being discriminated on basis of religion in Pakistan,Bangladesh or Afghanistan, get Indian citizenship,” said Shah.
In Assam, the updated final NRC has left out over 19 lakh applicants.
‘All Normal in Jammu and Kashmir’
Shah also took questions on the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir, whose special status was revoked in August, and said the situation there was normal.
“The situation there was always normal. There were many notions spread all over the world. There is total normalcy prevailing,” he claimed.
Shah claimed no one had been killed in police firing since August 5, and that the government would restore Internet connections in Kashmir as soon as the local administration saw fit to do so.