40 lakh people name missing in Indian citizens’ list

DAINIK NATION BUREAU

A Supreme Court-monitored exercise to identify genuine Indian nationals living in Assam on Monday excluded over 40 lakh people from the final draft list, triggering a political slugfest, with the Opposition alleging it was a BJP gameplan to divide the people for electoral gains.

Nearly 12 per cent of the population could not make it to the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC).

To be recognised as citizens, all residents had to produce documents proving that they or their families lived in India before March 24, 1971.

Hundreds of thousands of people had fled to India during Bangladesh’s war of independence from Pakistan in the early 1970s. Most of them settled in Assam, which has a near-270 km border with Bangladesh.

Authorities said the citizenship test was crucial to protect ethnic Assamese, many of whom have demanded removal of outsiders they accuse of taking jobs and cornering resources.

Registrar General of India Sailesh said, “It is a complete draft, but not the final NRC. There will be plenty of scope for filing claims. No genuine Indian citizen should worry at all.”

Two Assam MLAs also not on list
The names of two Assam MLAs also do not figure in the final draft of NRC. One of them is Ramakanta Deori, BJP MLA from Morigaon. In fact, Deori and family members did not apply for inclusion of names in updated NRC. The other MLA whose name is missing is Ananta Kumar Mallah, the AIUDF legislator from South Abhyapuri.

‘No need for panic’
“No coercive action will be taken. There is no need to panic. This is a draft, not the final list. Those left out can approach the foreigners’ tribunal.” Rajnath Singh, HM

‘It’s divide & rule’
“Indian citizens have become refugees in own land. Centre resorted to vote bank and divide and rule policy. I am fighting for all.” Mamata Banerjee, WB CM.

THE TRIBUNE

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