NEW DELHI: Directing the Assam government and other neighboring states to ensure maintenance of law and order, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday stated that no action should be initiated by the state administration or police based on the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) to be published on 30th July.
On Tuesday, the ministry had reiterated that the NRC is only a draft and after its publication, those whose names are excluded from it will be given a month’s time for filing claims and objections, besides subsequent judicial recourse.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday had said there was no need to panic and all bona fide Indians will be given adequate opportunities to prove their citizenship.
“Any person who is not satisfied with the outcome of claims and objections can appeal in the Foreigner’s Tribunal. Thus, there is no question of anyone being put in a detention center after the publication of NRC (national register of citizens),” Rajnath Singh said in a statement.
According to the Assam Accord of 1985, signed by the government of Rajiv Gandhi with All Assam Students Union (AASU) ending the six-year-long agitation against “undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh,” those who entered the state till 24th March, 1971 are Indian citizens. To determine it, the NRC process was started some years ago and to be carried out as per the directions of the Supreme Court.
AS per NRC office, 3.39 crore people have applied for registration in NRC. One of the reasons behind a large number of people being declared D-voters is spelling error in their documents.
Recently a civil fact-finding team had claimed in its report that the process for update of the NRC became bias after the BJP came to power in Assam in March 2016 and around 35 lakh Bengali-speaking people, both Muslims and Hindus, are facing the threat of exclusion from the list of bona fide citizens.
“Up till March 2016, the verification process was deemed to be fair and objective, according to widespread perception, including within the civil society. Its rules and guidelines were apparently being followed. Post April 2016 elections, with the BJP coming to power, difficulties, problems and accusations of bias began to stalk Assam,” the fact-finding report stated.
The exercise has created panic among many Muslims in Assam because Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party, which came to power in the state for the first time in 2016, vowed during the election campaign to act against illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh.