In a major face-off over identifying genuine citizens, BJP President Amit Shah on Tuesday charged the Opposition of politicising the National Register of Citizens of Assam and expressed complete surprise that only two political parties - namely the BJP and the BJD - had backed the NRC in the Rajya Sabha.
Security has been tightened across the state, which borders Bangladesh, as thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims worry about being sent to detention centres or deported, a Reuters witness said.
It was published on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 where names of 1.9 crore people out of the 3.29 crore applicants were incorporated. "But the fact of the matter is that there is no illegal immigrant from Bangladesh in India".
Assam has been racked by waves of violence over the years as residents, including tribal groups, have clashed with both Hindu and Muslim settlers, whom they accuse of plundering resources and taking away jobs.
Sharma said the Congress in principle agrees with the idea of the NRC, but has objections to the manner in which it is implemented as many anomalies and flaws have been discovered due to which a large number of people having valid documents are left out.
'You can't link every Bengali speaking person to Bangladesh, ' I&B minister of Bangladesh said. "The government must move swiftly to resolve this crisis".
Writing in the Economic and Political Weekly, Sanjoy Hazarika, a human rights activist and Director of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, said it was unclear what will happen to those who could find themselves stateless.
About 29 million people have been found eligible for inclusion in the citizenship document from around 33 million applicants, he said.
She said her family arrived in India before 1971 but she expected to be stripped of her Indian citizenship and feared her land rights, voting rights and freedom would be in peril. Several forces, at the global level, are trying to create disorder, saying that updating the NRC is an issue between Muslims and non-Muslims. "Anybody resorting to the social media for materializing their malicious designs of creating discord shall be dealt with stern legal actions", the chief minister said. I urge the people to stay united to defeat all such evil designs.
The BJP accused Congress of adopting different stands in govt and opposition while emphasising that the soul of Assam Accord signed by then PM Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 is in NRC. The process of updating the NRC for Assam, with midnight of March 24, 1971, as cut off, had started in 2013, under the supervision of the Supreme Court, at a cost of Rs 1220 crore.
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.
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