India could strip 4 million of citizenship in northeast region

TMC and SP members protest NRC

The massive Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify genuine Indian nationals living in Assam excluded over 40 lakh people from the final draft list. Effectively, the objective of the process is to determine who in Assam are genuine Indian citizens and who are illegal immigrants.

Activists and experts say the NRC process is not likely to solve the contentious citizenship issue as tens of thousands of people who have been marked as "Doubtful" or "D" voters, their descendants and those With pending cases in the Foreigners' Tribunal are not being considered by the NRC authorities.

Prateek Hajela, the NRC State Coordinator who devised the system for the first-ever exercise to update the 1951 NRC, said it could not be said at this juncture how many people would get left out of the complete draft. Of 32.9 million applicants, the names of 28.9 million have been approved and included in the draft, Sailesh, India's registrar general, told reporters in Gauhati, the capital of Assam state.

Meanwhile, police and security forces in Tamenglong district have been directed to step up security measure to check intrusion of illegal migrants from a railway station close to state border in the district.

According to The Economic Times, the Muslim population of Assam grew by 77 percent in a 20-year period from 1971, while the number of Hindus in the region rose by only 42 percent.

"It is for the home minister now to clarify whether he stands by the statement that he made on Monday in the Lok Sabha or he agreed with the statement that has been made in the Rajya Sabha by BJP president Shri Amit Shah".

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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.

While Modi and his BJP government plan to remove those they deem "foreigners" from Assam state, local officials are assuring those recently designated as foreigners will not be immediately deported. "It seems that only Muslims - says director Ricken Patel - must go through such a complicated and unjust process, without the right to receive support and with the fear of having to leave if they lose".

"These people will become stateless - their future remains hanging", Mahanta said. Millions of people can not be thrown out of citizenship at a stroke. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee described it as a "conspiracy to throw out Bengalis and Biharis" from Assam.

"Some people are unnecessarily trying to create an atmosphere of fear". In the complete draft NRC published on Monday, the names of 40 lakh of the total of 3.29 crore applicants were found missing.

The National Secretariat of the Communist Party of India CPI has expressed serious concern and annoyance over the publication of draft NRC list.

Some TMC members were heard saying that their party has given notice for adjournment over the issue but Naidu rejected the claim, saying that he has not received any notice.

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